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The computer "strategy and simulation magazine 




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Trapped in a fiendish Level 9 Adventure? 
Your lamp burning low? Every exit guarded? 

You need escape plans! Send for one of Level 9's great 
new clue sheets for help. The clue sheets are free and 
each answers hundreds of questions: follow the 
instructions supplied with your adventure to get one. 
(Don't forget to send a stamped self-addressed 
envelope and tell us which game you have.) 

NEW REVIEWS: "Level 9 are fast establishing a name for 
themselves among computer adventurers as the Number 1 
producers of quality adventure software. All their adventures are 
text only, but because of a special coding they have developed, 
the amount of description and the number of locations packed in 
32K in truly amazing." 

— Midweek, 10 May 84 

"Quicksilva call themselves the 'Game Lords'. That . 

\ might be open to argument. But there can be no J 

| doubt that Pete Austin and the team at Level 9 are AM 

I the 'Lords of Adventure'. >m 
I — Central Press Features, April 84 LM 

U "Play Lords of Time and get nine times the pleasure!" j K 
\\ — Your Computer, May 84 Wim 



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AVAILABLE FROM: WH Smith and good computer 
shops nationwide. 

If your local dealer doesn't stock Level 9 
adventures yet, ask him to contact us or: 
Centresoft, Drake Distribution, Ferranti & Craig, 
Hi-Tech, Lime Tree, Microdeal, R&R or 
Wonderbridge. 



Level 9 Computing 

Colossal Adventure: the original mainframe 
adventure with 70 extra locations □ 

Adventure Quest: an epic journey across the 
weird landscape of Middle Earth □ 

Dungeon Adventure: a truly massive game 
which completes the Middle Earth Trilogy □ 

Snowball: could this be the biggest SF 
adventure in the world? □ 

Lords of Time: an imaginative romp through 
World History □ 

I ENCLOSE A CHEQUE/PO FOR £9.90 
EACH 

My name: 




My address: 



f 



My micro is a: 

(one of those listed on the arch above, 
with at least 32K of memory). 

Contact: 

LEVEL 9 COMPUTING 

Dept. V, 229, Hughenden Road 
High Wycombe, Bucks. HP13 5PG 
Telephone: (0494) 26871 









micro 



ADVENTURES • WAR GAMES • SIMULATIONS 




Editor 

Brendon Gore 

Assistant Editor 

Martin Croft 

Software Editor 

Graham Taylor 

blaster 9bbenturcrs 

Tony Bridge 
Mike Grace 

Editorial Secretary 
Geraldine Smyth 

Advertisement Manager 

David Lake 

Advertisement Executive 

Simon Langston 

Administration 

Theresa Lacy 

Managing Editor 

Brendon Gore 

Publishing Director 

Jenny Ireland 

Telephone number 

(all departments) 
01-437 4343 

UK address 
Micro Adventurer, 12-13 Little Newport 
Street, London WC2R 3LD 

US address 
Micro Adventurer, c/o Business Press 
International, 205 East 42nd Street, New 

York, NY 10017 

Subscriptions 

UK £10.00 for 12 issues, overseas surface 
(excluding US and Canada) £16 for 12 
issues, US and Canada air-lifted US$33.95 

for 12 issues. 



Micro Adventurer is published monthly by 
Sunshine Books, Scot Press Ltd. Typesetting by 
ln-Step Ltd, 33-41 Dallington Street, London 
EC1. Printed by Eden Fisher (Southend) Ltd, 
Soulhend-on-Sea, Essex. Distributed by SM 
Distribution, London SW9 (telephone 01-274 
861 1, telex: 261643). ISSN 0265-4156. 
Registered at the Post Office as a newspaper. 
Sunshine Books 1984. Telex: 296275. 




SUNSHINE 



Letters 4 

Palmer's reply, a help database, various 
offers of aid, and Bartle slings the MUD 
again 



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News 6 

Games Workshop bytes back, Doomdark's 
Revenge — sneak preview, Magra returns, 
Mitre gets boxed in, the Ring is back, 
Starcross, two new companies, and Games 

Day , ^^S£ V ^>^ 

Adventure International 8 

We review The Hulk, and The Sorcerer of 
Claymorgue Castle, yet to be released in the 
UK. Plus comments from Scott Adams, 
and AI UK's own Mike Woodruffe 

Crasimoff's World 11 

Martin Croft takes a look at play by mail 
company KJC Games, and visits two 
worlds of fantasy 

Sphinx Adventure 14 

Robin and Jean Burgess go out in the 
noonday sun to visit the Sphinx's ancient 
mysteries 

Incentive Software 18 

Tom Frost battles against the dangers of 
the land of Ket in search of the elusive 
magic video recorder 



Adventure Help 21 

Transmit your tribulations to Tony Bridge, 
and he will solve all with a wave of his 
magic word processor 

MUD 22 

The first in a series of articles on Multi User 
Dungeon by the mad wizard Richard Bartle 

Infocom Adventures 26 

Barry Miles goes down under to the magical 
and mysterious country called Zork 

Book review 28 

Everybody is publishing computer books 
these days — John Fraser takes a look at 
some of the best covering adventures for 
the Spectrum 

Boardwalk 32 

Readers can turn off their terminals for a 
while, as we take a stroll around a couple of 
recent board games, and a trip to Dallas 




Software Inventory 34 

Pages and pages of reviews of new releases 
— wargames, simulations, and adventures 

Competition Corner 46 

Adventure International's The Hulk — 25 
chances to win the first in the Questprobe 
series 

Illustrations courtesy of Citadel and Hutchinson Books, 



LORDS OF MIDNIGHT is a new departure for adventure games. It is a multi-player 
game, in that scenes and events can be viewed from more than one vantage point. It is also 
the first game to bring another world to life through the use of graphics rather than text. 

The ability to switch from one character to another, or to allow other players to assume 
differing personae, is something which no other adventure game has successfully 
attempted. 

This is not to say that Mike Singleton's game is flawless — it does have faults, notably 
interior scenes of keeps and citadels are not displayed and the game itself can become 
overly complex. Nevertheless, Lords of Midnight is still a great deal more fun to play than 
most other adventures. And the graphics are stunning. 

Another game which is rapidly growing in popularity is MUD — that peculiarly apt 
acronym for Multi User Dungeon. Devised by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle, MUD is 
run on Essex University's DEC 10. The game allows different players, both inside and 
outside the university, to participate at the same time. 

Within the next two to three years, if not sooner, it should be possible to devise an 
interactive adventure game involving thousands of players. Linked to a central computer 
by modem, adventurers will be able to battle for global supremacy or search for the holy 
grail. Opponents and allies will be real live people, not computer generated facsimiles. 

The technology is available now, although it is still fairly expensive. If British Telecom 
could only be persuaded to reduce its rates for data transmission, such an adventure game 
might be running now. Certainly, with companies such as Century buying up the rights to 
MUD, it should not be too long before some such system is in operation. I believe that this 
type of game is going to prove far more popular than anyone now suspects. 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 3 




Send your hints, 

successes, 
complaints and 
compliments to 
Letters Page, Micro 
Adventurer, 12-13 
Little Newport St, 
London WC2R 3LD 



Beyond 
the review 

I'M GLAD your reviewer 
found Beyond the Arcade (my 
book on computer adventures 
and wargames) a nice 
afternoon's read, but maybe 
he should have taken a bit of 
the evening too, as there are 
quite a few mistakes in the 
review, viz.: 

(1) 'A noticeably strong bias to . 
American computers like the' 
Atari, Apple, Pet and IBM'. In 
fact the bias to British 
computers is so strong that the 
advertisement for the book in 
my own magazine warned US 
readers about it. Virtually all 
the games in the adventure 
section are for the Spectrum, 
Dragon or BBC. The whole 
book has only one reference 
each to the Pet and the IBM 
PC, both warning off new 
purchasers looking for games 
machines). The wargames 
section does have a variety of 
Atari and Apple games 
featured prominently, but 
unfortunately that's where the 
best wargames are to be found, 
as Laurence Miller's Micro 
Adventurer series has shown. 

(2) 'No reference to Infocom 
or Scott Adams'. Of course 
there is. See pp 24-27. The 
reference to Infocom is 
admittedly only in passing, 
because it's an American firm 
with most of its games not 
available to most UK users. 

(3) 'Palmer, I believe, wanted 
to write a detailed volume 
about Play-By-Mail games, 
and was pressured into 
including Computer 
adventures'. This is news to 
me. The problem is that very 
specialised books have to be 
very expensive. I do tend to 
agree with the reviewer that 
£6.95 is a steep price, but it 



does make it possible to 
publish a book exclusively 
devoted to these two areas. A 
book only about PBM would 
probably have to be priced at 
£12 to interest a publisher. The 
objective of Beyond the 
Arcade is to interest readers 
involved in one aspect of 
'intelligent' gaming and 
introduce them to the others; I 
don't think either a very 
specialised book or a much 
broader one could achieve this. 
Nicky Palmer 

Seip 

database 

I OFFERED help for several 
adventures in July's MAD, 
and was surprised to receive at 
least 20 enquiries. I now intend 
to write a help database which 
will work out the most 
common problems adventurers 
around the country face. I'll let 
you have any interesting 
results! 

Also in the August issue, I 
saw my own plea for help in 
Snowball. I completed the 
game two months ago, so 
please, everyone, don't send 
help — but I'll willingly 
provide it. 
Dave Linsley 
8 Manor House Road 
Jesmond 

Newcastle-upon- Tyne 
NE2 2LU 

Charts 

RECENTLY purchasing my 
first issue of Micro Adven- 
turer, I was very pleased to see 
Adventure Contact. 

How about having a chart 
for the top ten adventure 
games for different 
computers? 
C. Taylor 
Birstwith 
North Yorks. 



Topical 



tips 



I CAN OFFER any reader 
maps, hints, and tips for The 
Hobbit, and maps for the first 
level of Level 9's Colossal 
Cave. 

I also have a map of 
Valhalla, showing the 
locations of Ofnir, Drapnir, 



Skornir, and Felstrong. I am 
looking for Skalir — if anyone 
knows where it is, please tell 
me. 

Finally, a few tips for 
Pirate's Cove; pirates like rum, 
crocodiles like fish, and snakes 
don't like parrots. 

Don't forget to send an 
SAE. 

John Rundle 

26, Western Road 

Aldershot 

Hants 

GU11 3 PL 



Identity 
problem 

FLATTERING though I 
found it to have my humble 
scrawl mistaken for Kevin 
Bergin's excellent prose, the 
Captain at the controls of the 
August Flight Simulator 
review was 
Yours Truly 
Tony Bridge 

Sub 

stopper 

IN JULY'S issue, Tony Bridge 
comments that he does not get 
much space. How I agree with 
him! On the cover of the 
magazine, it says Micro 
Adventurer, but we get articles 
about what hardware and 
software we are likely to be 
using in the future, and so on. 
Interesting, yes, but hardly 
deserving three and a half 
pages. 

One of the main reasons I 
buy your magazine, along with 
many other readers, I'm sure, 
is to get a few hints, clues, and 
tips about the various games 
I'm playing. So come on, let's 
have a great magazine, not just 
a good one — otherwise when 
my sub runs out I, for one, 
won't be renewing. 
Nigel Morse 
Doncaster 



Bartle 
spekes 

LIKED the article by Gren 
Hatton about Future Gaming, 
since he managed to contain 



himself to present technology 
rather than predict tech- 
nological advances which are 
"just around the corner". 

He does seem, however, to 
have an inaccurate view of 
Essex University's computing 
facilities. In common with 
most other universities, we 
don't have hundreds of 
megabytes of memory going 
spare. That's why MUD is only 
playable at really stupid hours, 
just because we can't get that 
kind of memory during the 
day. Also, games aren't 
intellectually acceptable on 
University machines unless 
they're chess, and it's the 
computing service people (the 
ones who maintain the 
machine and its software) who 
have given us the support, 
rather than Computing Science 
academics. Would that I DID 
have quantities of dumb 
terminals lying about as Gren 
seems to believe. Assuming he 
WAS talking about Essex 
when he mentioned 
Universities, of course — we're 
the only one in Britain doing 
this sort of thing, but there's at 
least one in the USA too. And 
they really DO have the 
computing power he describes 
at their disposal! 

I'd also like to talk about 
another of Gren's points, 
namely that networked systems 
are the "next step" after many 
of the things he mentions in his 
article have already happened. 
Although screens full of 
moving pictures and zappy 
sound : effects may improve a 
game, they still don't alter the 
form of the game itself. 3D 
films (and games?) are pretty 
good, but they're still just a 
variation on a theme. The 
point about multi-user 
adventures is that they're not 
just ordinary games with bells 
& whistles, they're a kind of 
game unto themselves, unlike 
anything else on the market at 
present. They're so much more 
fun to play that frankly they 
leave classic adventures for 
dead. If you played an 
adventure with all the 
equipment Gren envisages, 
then played it without, you'd 
still be able to live with it. Once 
you've played a multi-user 
adventure, however, single- 
user games never look the same 
again. I realise this sounds a bit 
like an advert for MUD, and 
of course I'm biased seeing as 
how I wrote it, but I hope you 
see what I'm getting at. 
Richard Bartle 
University of Essex 



4 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



r 



5 r .\ 





To. . . Beyond Competition House, 
Farruitm Road, Market Haroorough, 
Leicestershire LEI 9 9NR. 

Please send me . . . 



QZY Total Price 



THE LORDS OF MIDNIGHT £9.95 




PSYTRON £7.95 




SPELLBOUND £5 .95 




BEYOND ORDER HOTL/NE 0858 34567 GRAND 
BEYOND ENQUIRY HOTL/NE 01-25 I 8496 TOTAL 




all prices inducfe 



J enclose a Postal Order/Cheque payable 
to Beyond, or charge my credit card. 



Card Number 



Access/Visa (Delete as necessary) 

NAME 



ADDRESS 



POSTCODE 



SIGNATURE 



Please rush me details of the "ENTER the BEYOND 
Software Club . . . 



MA/9 



□ 





If you think you've 

something 
newsworthy, call 
01-437 4343 and let us 
know 



Fame 
Quest 



BRAINGAMES, the newly 
formed leisure division of 
Amplicon Electronics, has 
released two titles for the 
Commodore 64 and Spectrum. 

Election Trail is a simulation 
of the American electoral 
system. The player is the 
Republican candidate, and has 
to secure votes by judicious use 
of campaign funds, manip- 
ulation of the media, and other 
nefarious activities. 

In Fame Quest, the player 
begins as a lowly knight, and 
struggles to rise through the 
ranks by vanquishing various 
opponents. The game uses a 
split screen and features a map 
of the countryside. 

The initial design for both 
games is the work of Dave 
Rotor, who runs Adventure- 
worlds, which specialises in 
table top and board wargames. 
The game development and 
coding are by Peter Woods, 
Amplicon's Managing Direc- 
tor. The same team has been 
responsible for two of Com- 
modore's games, Highflyer, an 
airline management game, and 
Rail Boss, about the heady 
days of the Iron Horse in 
America. 

Peter \ TV 
Woods 
of 

Brain- 
games 




Election Trail and Fame 
Quest are available on disc for 
the Commodore 64 at £9.95, 
and on cassette for the 
Commodore and Spectrum 
48K at £7.95. 



Games Workshop 

goes soft 



GAMES WORKSHOP is 
publishing four software titles 
in October. Angus Ryall, 
software marketing manager, 
says that the four will be 
Battlecars, Journey's End, D- 
Day, and Argent Warrior. 

Battlecars is a computerised 
version of the Ian Livingstone 
boardgame (see review, page 
32) set in an anarchic future 
where the major spectator 
sport is a cross between stock 
car racing and World War 
Two. 

Battlecars will be for two 
players, and will feature a five 
part split screen. The combat 
displays will show each 
player's immediate surround- 
ings, where they are in relation 
to each other, the damage 
level, ammunition supply, and 
speed of each car. 

The coding on Battlecars is 
by Slug, the programming 
team responsible for Rebelstar 
Raiders, who left Red Shift in 
June and are now freelancing. 

Journey's End is a graphic 
arcade-adventure game in 
three parts" featuring battle 



magic. Jon Sutherland, Games 
Workshop's advertising man- 
ager, claims that it will be 
"Dungeon and Dragons for 
computers." The coding is by 
Mr Biggie Software, a group of 
computer science graduates 
from Manchester. 

D-Day is a conventional 
computer wargame covering 
the invasion of Europe in 1944. 
Four scrolling maps will cover 
the five beachheads, and the 
players will control tanks, 
infantry, artillery and aircraft. 
Coding is by the Dagenham 
Design Cell. 

Russell 
Clarke 
of 

Games 
Work- 
shop 




Argent Warrior is the most 
exciting of the four games. 
Designed using The Quill, 
extra programming makes its 
origins unrecognisable. 



Argent Warrior is a text 
adventure, with some graphics. 
Games Workshop's only in 
house program, the creative 
concept came from Jamie 
Thomson and Steve Williams, 
and the coding is by Russell 
Clarke and Mike McKeown. 

According to Russell, the 
player is the son of a hero who 
liberated a magical land from 
the rule of the demon lord 
Malmort. Twenty years have 
passed and the demon has 
returned. The player's task is 
to find the mystical weapons 
which his late father used last 
time around, and settle 
Malmort' s hash. These 
weapons — the Hands of 
Silver and Gold and the Crown 
of Chaos — will not be easy to 
find, and are well protected. 
The program is 96K in all, and 
runs in two parts. 

All four titles will be initially 
available for the Spectrum 
48K, at a price of £7.95. 
Games Workshop plans 
Commodore 64 versions for,, 
mid November, and will be dis- 
tributing in America. 






3 i 1 1 



RETURN OF THE RING is 
the sequel to Wintersoft's best- 
selling game for the Dragon 
32, The Ring of Darkness. 

Many of the characters the 
player will encounter have 



'free will', and are capable of 
doing almost anything that the 
player can do. 

Written entirely in machine 
code, Return of the Ring 
retails at £9.95. 



INFOCOM will be releasing 
Cutthroats, the third in the 
Tales of Adventure series, on 
September 15. Written by 
Michael Berlyn, the author of 
Suspended and Infidel, the 
coding is by Jerry Wolper. 

The player is a deep sea diver 
down on his luck, who is 
recruited by a group of shady 
characters hunting for sunken 
treasure. It costs $39.95. 

Magra still 
wrathful 

MASTERTRONIC has taken 
over The Wrath of Magra 
from the defunct Carnell, and 
will be republishing it under a 
new label, Mastervsion. It will 
be for the Spectrum 48K, at 
£12.50. 



6 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



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Micro Adventurer brings you the first pictures of Doomdark's Revenge, the sequel to Lords of 
Midnight. Morkin has been kidnapped by Doomdark's daughter, and Tarithel the Fey, daughter of 
the Lord of Dreams, must rescue him, with the aid of some familiar faces. The scenery is radically 
different to that of Midnight, and from what Mike has been telling us, the game system has been made 
more sophisticated as well. Beyond has said the game will be launched sometime in the autumn. 
Whenever it does come out, it looks, from what we have seen, well worth the wait! 



MUD on line 

from Century 



Compunet 

ADVENTURE GAMES will 
be available on Compunet, the 
networking system being set up 
by Commodore. Gail Welling- 
ton, Commodore UK's 
Software Manager, says that 
the company is close to an 
agreement with Mister Micro, 
whereby the Manchester based 
software house will write a 
series of linked adventure 
programs. 

Each program will be an 
episode in a continuing series, 
according to Gail "like a soap 
opera, or one of the old 
adventure serials they used to 
show in the Thirties and 
Forties." 

Jim Gregory of Mister 
Micro aims to have a new game 
every fortnight, all with text 
and graphics. The programs 
will be available in the 
"Software Park 1 ' section of 
Compunet, and users will be 
able to download them and 
save to disc. 

Commodore is also looking 
at ideas for multi-player 
games, along the lines of 
MUD. Nothing has yet been 
finalised, however. 

Mail 
boxes 

MITRE GAMES, which runs 
the play by mail games 
Star master and Tribes of 
Crane in the UK, has signed a 
deal with Games Workshop. 

Boxed sets of both games, 
containing the rules, all the 
reference sheets needed, and 
two free turns will be launched 
at Games Day (London, Sept- 
ember 1-2), at £9.95, and 
distributed by Games 
Workshop in this country and 
the US. 

Games Day 

GAMES DAY '84 will be held 
at the Royal Horticultural 
Society's New Hall in Greycoat 
Street, London, on September 
1 and 2. 

As in the past, the two day 
event, organised by Games 
Workshop, will feature all 
sorts of activities and a great 
many trade stands. A number 
of play by mail companies and 
software houses are to attend. 



Infocom 

STARCROSS is the latest of 
the Infocom range of 
adventures to be published in 
the UK by Commodore for the 
CBM64. The Zork trilogy is 
already available. 

The game is on disc, and, 
along with the other Infocom 
adventures from Commodore 
UK, costs £11.99. 

Scorpio 

SCORPIO SOFTWARE and 
MW Gamesworld have merged 
to form Scorpio Gamesworld 
Limited. The new company 
will be producing budget tapes 
at £1.99, and more serious 
software at £5.50. Among the 
games planned are Codebook 
Caper, a graphic adventure, 
and Sniper, an introductory 
wargame, both for the 48K 
Spectrum. 

The new company will also 
be working on adaptations of 
boardgames published by a 
well known American 
company. Informed sources 
have suggested it could be 
Fantasy Games Unlimited. 

FGU publish a wide range of 
role playing games, but the 
first to be coded is likely to be 
Oregon Trail, a solitaire role 
playing boardgame. 



MULTI USER DUNGEON, 
the play by modem interactive 
adventure game run on the 
University of Essex DEC 10 
mainframe, is to go com- 
mercial next year. 

Publishing house Century 
Communications has bought 
the rights to the game from the 
designers, Richard Bartle and 
Roy Trubshaw. Century now 
hopes to buy or rent a VAX 
computer on which to run the 
game. 




Richard Bartle 



At present, MUD can handle 
up to 30 players simul- 
taneously, but only in the early 
hours of the morning or at 
weekends when memory is 
available. Century intends to 
have 100 players initially, but 
Richard Bartle says that the 
only limiting factor is the 
number of telephone lines 
installed. 4 'There is no reason 
why you cannot have up to 
1000 people playing at once," 
he claims. 

Century was the only 
company to show any interest 
in MUD and, as a reward, has 
been turned into a character, 
Century the Wizard. Senior 
Editor Simon Dally plays every 
night. 

Richard Bartle estimates 
that 800 or so people have 
played Mud in the four years it 
has been running. About 100 
play it now, some 30 of them 
every night. 

Century are understandably 
reluctant to commit themselves 
to any definite date, and will 
only say that MUD will be 
launched "sometime in 1985." 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 7 




IF YOU were a green skinned 
monster trapped inside a 
computer, perpetually 
turned into a 
weakling human by 
nasty gases and persistently 
encountering an unhelpful 
Chief Examiner, what 
would you do? Answers 
on a postcard please to . . . 

The Hulk is the latest 
offering from Adventure 
International, written in collaboration 
with Marvel Comics, who first 
spawned the not-so-jolly green giant. It 
follows the current trend for adventure of 
the book of the film of the record of the 
comic strip, which actually seems to be 
doing us poor adventurers a great deal of 
good as new talents, new plots and new 
money is being put into this masochistic 
hobby. So, you might expect the product of 
the design talents of Scott Adams and the 
graphics of Marvel to be something extra 
special in this line. If you do, then you will 
be rather disappointed. 

I reviewed the Spectrum version. The 
graphics are definitely good, though the 
claim to be 'the best yet' might be contested 
by a few software houses. They are static 
illustrations in the style popularised by the 
Hobbit, with each scene getting its graphic. 
Some actions also have appropriate 



'Look Ring' gives you a close up picture of 
the ring (not that it does you any good!). 
Looking in the mirror shows your current 




image (either Hulk or Banner). You can 
turn off the graphics, if you want to. 
The game is definitely difficult. Some 



but it seems to me a serious flaw. 

There is more. Output is pretty crude. 
The program opens with various credits, 
then does not even clear the screen before 
giving the first game message. No fifth 
form programmer would let a game go out 
like that. Screen scrolling is also untidy. 
Your task is to collect a number of gems 
(some of which seem to appear randomly) 
and 'store them into' the proper location, 
whatever that means. Worst of all, many 
messages appear in mixtures of upper and 
lower case and are written vertically on the 
screen rather than from left to right. Even 
some of the cheapest amateur games 
around format screen messages more 
attractively than this. 

Another irritating point, though perhaps 
not a flaw, is the pure commercialism (and, 
dare I say it, Americanism) of the program. 
The flashing cursor pointlessly includes the 
letters AI (not Artificial Intelligence but 
Adventure International) making a 
distracting, headache inducing feature. The 
manual says HELP may give you assist- 
ance. It may, but it has not given me any; 
instead it gives an advertising message for 
the Scott Adams Hint Book. No free help 
sheets for the brain-warped adventurer here 
but more on the lines of Melbourne House 
again — write a game too difficult to solve 
then charge more for the solution — and 
use the program to advertise it. Even sillier 



The Incredible Hulk 



graphics. For example turning from the 
Hulk to Bruce Banner takes three pictures 
which you must step through by pressing 
<Enter>. This is attractive at first but 
becomes a bit of a pain after a while, 
because all you want to do is type in the 
next command. Most illustrations are 
pretty close to the comics' originals, and 
there are some nice touches. For example, 



SHARP EYED observers will already 
know that Scott Adams himself appears 
in The Hulk comic — the Chief 
Examiner is based on him. He will also 
feature in Spiderman, the second in the 
Questprobe series of games, based on 
the characters created by Marvel comics. 

Scott sees the Marvel Universe as 
prime material for adventure games. 
"Most people," he says, "would like a 
chance to be their favourite comic 
character." 

Twelve titles are planned; in addition 
to the Hulk and Spiderman, Doctor 
Strange, the Fantastic Four, and at least 
one of the X-men are likely to star. 

The Hulk was deliberately designed as 
a beginning adventure, and Scott 
believes that it will attract a lot of new 
players; in order to widen the appeal, 
however, he has had to simplify the 
problems, so that, he admits, 
"anybody who has played a lot will 
finish the game in a day." 



might say it was too difficult. I would — I 
am stuck. However, I have never held this 
against any adventure (mind you my copy 
of Castle of Riddles has taken to cowering 
when I enter the room). I would say it is 
about standard Scott Adams, but I do have 
some gripes about the game. The main one 
is that this Spectrum version is one of the 
unfriendliest games I have played. 

It often refuses to interpret a command 
you know it understands: 'look ring', you 
say. 'I don't understand LOok riNg' it 
replies. Perversely, when it feels annoyed 
by the way you keep bothering it, it turns 
your innocent commands into something 
totally different and pretends it does not 
know what is going on, presumably hoping 
you will give up and go away. Obviously 
either the keyboard reading routine is at 
fault or, more likely, the text compression 
is getting the bends on decompression. 
Maybe other copies will not have this fault, 




is the fact that every time the words The 
Incredible Hulk appear a little (TM) 
follows them. This does not look much like 
the 'wondrous electronic world' promised 

in the blurb. And I will not mention the 
American expression (after all 'Hit Enter' 
might be appropriate to the Hulk) and 
spelling (but why cannot a game for a pre- 
dominantly British machine use British 
English?) 

If you are looking for sophisticated 
artificial intelligence, or complex text 
handling, or interactive characters you will 
find none of that in The Hulk (TM). What 
you will find is the classic two word input 
plus a few single key commands — L for 
Look, I for Inventory, and initial letters for 
directions and some special commands 
which depend on your machine. In fact the 
only real novelty in the game itself (as 
opposed to its graphics) is the type of 
puzzle and problem you have to solve. 
Whilst the claim that you do not need to 
know Marvel comics to play is true to some 
extent (just as The Hobbit can be solved by 
guesswork, trial and error and some 
common sense), you are not going to get far 
if you do not know anything at all about 
the relationship between Banner and Hulk. 
In fact the settings and problems are very 
much in tune with the comic book ethos, 
and are likely to delight everyone out there 
with fingers blackened from cheap ink. 
This, of course, contributes to the difficulty 
of the game. 



8 Micro Adventurer September 1984 




There are other good features, and some 
that are debateable. One of these is 
Questprobe, a comic cum magazine 
devoted to this series of adventures. Ah, 
you had not guessed that this was the first 
of a series? There are to be twelve comics, 
and twelve games, over the next four years, 
each featuring a Marvel hero but all linked 
in plot. If they improve as they go along, 
this will be a good feature. If they remain 
the same as The Hulk they will be dismal in 
four years, and I doubt if the series will be 
completed. 

The first issue of Questprobe is no 
different from your standard Marvel 
comic, including the puzzling story. I 
suspect that there are clues to the game 
within it, but I have not found any yet. 
Despite all I have said, the combination of 
game and comic seems an attractive 
package, especially if they can be tied 
together rather more convincingly than the 
first time around. 



Chart buster 



ADVENTURE INTERNATIONAL'S 
latest release, The Hulk, is doing well in 
the ratings — but Mike Woodruffe, AI 
UK's managing director, has a low 
opinion of the charts themselves. 

"Wholesalers have a duty to stock a 
complete range if they publish a chart — 
or to qualify the chart by saying what 
games they don't have figures for." 

He has also had problems with whole- 
salers over the Questprobe comic. Many 
have no provisions for distribution of 
such an item, and so have not been able 
to supply retailers with it. 

"Next time, we're going to reduce the 
size of the comic, so we can package it 
with the game. The price will stay the 



same, so effectively you'll get the comic 
free." 

In the long term, he sees the market 
turning increasingly towards play by 
modem adventures. He also looks 
forward to the development of links 
between micros and laser disc players. 
He believes that, "As cable develops, 
software houses will have a main 
computer which users can download 
programs from. They'll pay for time 
used." 

Mike does not intend to let A I UK 
stand still — "we will be going for cable 
games." He admits, however, that his 
ultimate dream, the holographic 
adventure, is still a long way off. 



On balance then, this is a goodish 
adventure, well packaged but badly 
presented on screen. Too much time has 
been given to the graphics and to com- 
mercial enterprise, and too little to 
considering the user. Nevertheless, many 
copies will be sold and lots of money will 
change hands because of the names behind 



the game. If you are keen on comics or 
want a game with some of the best graphics 
around, you can probably put up with the 
irksome features of The Hulk, but I hope at 
least some of you will avoid it and 
encourage a better program next time. 

Noel Williams 



The SAGA continues . . . 



The Sorcerer of Claymorgue Castle is a forth- 
coming adventure from the venerable Scott 
Adams, and the thirteenth in the SAGA series 
— an acronym for 'Scott Adams Graphic 
Adventure'. It is yet to be released in this 
country, so this review is based on a pre- 
release Apple II version. The game is to be 
converted for a wide range of popular micros 
in Britain. 

It covers both sides of a disc, taking some 
250K in total, and loads in several parts. 
There is also a 'letter* from Scott Adams, 
graphically persuading the user not to lend it 
to anyone to copy, or to use a pirated version. 
The graphics in the letter prepare you for the 
quality of those in the game — fantastic. 

After the game loads, you are asked if you 
have a Voice unit attached to your Apple — it 
is not known if there will be speech options 
for any of the translations in this country. 
After this, the game itself begins. You start in 
a field, and the screen displays a beautiful 
picture of the Castle, surrounded by a moat. 
Regrettably, my Apple does not have any 
colour output but the graphics still looked 
superb. The lack of colour is not a great 
drawback, as different patterns are used to 
give varying shades (like the use of stipples on 
the QL). The Apple hi-res screen takes some 
8K of memory, and as there are over 30 
different pictures, this translates to in excess 
of 240K just for graphics. However, the 
pictures cannot be stored as straight bytes, as 
there is not enough room on a disc for them. 
Some form of compression must be used, but 
I don't know how — anyway, who cares? It 
works beautifully, though how it's going to 
be done on disc-less machines I'm not sure. 

So much for the technicalities — what of 
the game? As no instructions at all were 
supplied, I'm not sure of the background 
story. The player is the Sorcerer in the title, 



and for an unspecified reason twelve magical 
stars lying in and around the castle must be 
collected, and placed somewhere. As you are 
a Sorcerer, you can use the many Spells lying 
around the castle, as well as the weird and 
wonderful objects, to solve the puzzles and 
problems that block your progress. 

The first problem is really how to get into 
the Castle, and the most obvious way, by 
lowering the drawbridge, does indeed work. 
However, it is not really the 'proper' way to 
enter the Castle, as you use up an important 
spell — the proper way is very complicated 
and not at all likely. 

This is a graphic adventure, and instead of 
the pictures simply enhancing the game, they 
often provide important clues to playing the 
game. They also change if, say, a door opens, 
though objects lying around are not shown 
pictorially. On requesting an Inventory, you 
don't just get a list, but a complete picture of 
you tipping out the contents of your bag, 
with each object and star shown in high- 
resolution. 

There are supposed to be over 50 locations, 
and in my wanderings I found about three 
quarters of them, each with its own full 




screen picture. Of the twelve stars, I found 
half of them, and this was after many phone 
calls to AI, who were extremely helpful. They 
said that they took a week to solve Clay- 
morgue Castle, with the aid of not only a 
hints book, but also the source listing of the 
program! This one will take much longer to 
solve for the average, and even the above- 
average adventurer, as it is very complex, 
despite the relatively low number of 
locations. 

After the praise — now the gripes. 
Commands are not up to Hobbit standard, 
accepting only two words, and the HELP 
command is included for completeness only 
— on only one occasion did it print anything 
but 'Sorry, I can't right now', which was very 
infuriating. The Spells have clues to their 
uses in their names, which sent me scurrying 
to my dictionary for some of them — do you 
know what Lycanthrope means? One spell is 
called 'Dizzy Dean', which will mean nothing 
to you unless you are an American Baseball 
fan, apparently. When you die, which can be 
very frequent, you are given a score reflecting 
only how many stars you have stored 
somewhere, which in my case was always 0 
out of 100. A fairer way would be to give a 
percentage based on how many rooms you 
have visited. 

This is the 13th SAGA, but the first I have 
played — I am now going to try and find 
what I have been missing by starting from 
number one! At the moment the only 
versions are for the Apple and Atari 
machines, but by the launch date it should be 
on the Spectrum, Dragon, Co-Co, CBM 64 
and the Beeb at £9.95 on tape. It has excellent 
graphics, though how well they will convert 
for disc-less machines I don't know. 



Andy Pennel 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 9 



SHERLOCK HOLMES Be the 

world's greatest sleuth — in the 
most advanced and challenging 
adventure game ever. 

For the first time ever, an 
adventure game in which you 
can argue with intelligent 
characters. 

Study the clues, question the ■ 
suspects, make the deductions 
— and match your wits against 
the most dastardly criminals in 
history. 



MUGSY gives a totally new 
direction for thrill seekers — 
comic animation in text, 
stunning.graphics and a full 
arcade game! Mugsy is your one 
and only chance to become the 
greatest gang leader with 
definite ill-repute. 

'Da best graphics.' 

POPULAR COMPUTING WEEKLY 

Mugsy is also definitely different. 
The graphics are terrific' 

COMPUTER CHOICE 



CLASSIC ADVENTURE This is the 
program that started it all. Now 
you can discover the excitement 
of Classic Adventure on your 
Spectrum 48K. If you are 
masterful enough, you too could 
become a Master Adventurer. 

'The classic brainteaser.' 

MICRO ADVENTURER 

'It's excellent but be warned: it's 
also very addictive.' 

HOME COMPUTING WEEKLY 





P., it 

► 

L IrL IW .' I 'JL Jul* V. l -I IflVal. ■VTP^fl 




Melbourne House Adventure Games □ BBC/Elect™ Classic Adventure -".95 

J BBC Model B The Hobbit £14.95 

□ Spectrum Sherlock Holmes £14.95 j One- 1 48K The Hobbit £14.95 



□ Spectrum Mugsy £6.95 Orders to: 

□ Spectrum Classic Adventure £6.95 

□ Spectrum The Hobbit £14.95 

□ Commodore 64 Classic Adventure £6.95 Correspondence: 

□ Commodore 64 The Hobbit £14.95 



Melbourne House Publishers, 

39 Milton Trading Estate 

Abingdon. Oxon 0X14 4TD 

Melbourne House Publishers, 

Church Yard. Tring. Hertfordshire HP23 5LU 



I enclose my cheque/money order for £ 



Please debit my Access Card No. 



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THE HOBBIT Visit J.R.R. Tolkien's 
Middle Earth in the most 
amazing adventure yet devised. 

'A game by which future games 
will be judged.' 

PERSONAL COMPUTING TODAY 

'Superior to any other adventure 
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| MA9 




Crasimoff 




World 



Martin Croft leads a party of adventurers through 
Crasimoff 's World and Earthwood 



WEARILY, Gorbuduc drew rein and 
surveyed the tattered remnants of his party. 
Since accidentally trespassing on ground 
sacred to the swamp folk, scarce two days 
gone, their path had been dogged by scaly 
green skinned avengers, bent on washing 
their temple clean with red human blood. 
Only six of his followers remained, two 
wounded. 

Now, having finally escaped their 
pursuers, they faced another peril — a 
strangely quite town, the gates ajar. 

"I like it not — it smells of evil," 
growled Borax the Mage. "Draw 
weapons," ordered Gorbuduc; "we go in. 
Mages and priests in the centre — and 
prepare your spells." 

If you are wondering what on earth is 
happening here, the answer is nothing — 
nothing on earth, that is. 

Our hero, Gorbuduc, here seen about to 
flex his thews, his vocal cords, and what 
little remains of his intelligence, is a native 
of Crasimoff 's World, a Play by Mail game 
run by KJC Games of Cleveleys, within 
bowshot of the Blackpool illuminations. To 
learn more, read on . . . 

As a new player in Crasimoff 's World, 
you start off with 10 characters. You can 
pick from fighter, mage, or priest — each 
has its own advantages and disadvantages. 
You must name your party, and define 
standard reactions to various situations. 

Every round, which can be as often as 
twice a week, if you feel energetic, you 
receive two 'round sheets.' The first round 
sheet is the one you used to write your last 
turn's orders on. This will have games 
master comments on it, and an up-dated 
map. The other is blank, and is for you to 
use to say what your party will be doing 
next turn. 

You will start in a town; you may want to 
try and recruit extra party members, or buy 
useful items, before leaving. 

You also have to specify what spells you 
will be using, and give provisional orders 
for the various situations you may find 
yourself in. 



Your mages and priests start off with a 
limited selection of spells, and can pick up 
more as your party explores the landscape. 
Your fighters start off with basic armour 
and weapons, but as you gain Oraks (the 
monetary unit of the world), you can buy 
new equipment. 

Each party member has an attack level 
and a defence level. Fifty points are needed 
to increase a level in either ability, and the 
various types of character receive differing 
numbers of points for each round. The 
Chieftain — the party leader — gets enough 
to go up a level a turn automatically. 
Fighters will usually go up every second 
turn, while Mages and Priests, who have to 
use their points to power their spells as well, 
can take far longer. 





KJC Games' Kevin Cropper 

Wandering about the countryside, you 
can meet all sorts of odd people. There are 
the Astoffs, the original rulers of the 
planet. In the various swamps dotted 
around live the scaly green swamp-people, 
who can be either friendly or hostile — 
usually depending on what the last party 
they met did to them! Dwarves are 
rumoured to be sailing around the coasts. 
And, of course, there are the other players. 

The most powerful party in the game at 
the moment is Silver Fern; significantly, the 
player running Silver Fern is also the High 
King Lord in Mitre Games' Tribes of 
Crane. Sigurd's Sword Brothers, ranked 
third in KJC's top ten chart, is run by 
Tribes of Crane's games master. 

Starting parties have around 80 levels of 
attack and defence distributed amongst 
their characters; Silver Fern has 587 levels, 
the second ranked Paladins of the Fulcrum 
have 537, and Sigurd's Sword Brothers 
have 536. You have to realise, though, that 
they have been playing for 74, 60, and 61 
rounds respectively. 

Some players run more than one party, 



which is one way of starting a strong 
alliance. This can give them an edge — but 
they are also cheating themselves of the real 
challenge of the game. One player runs six 
parties — and sends in orders for each one 
once a week. At £1.25 a turn per party, it 
must mount up pretty quickly. 

Kevin Cropper combines running KJC 
Games with managing Stationery and 
Games in downtown Cleveleys. He was 
responsible for the original design of 
Crasimoff 's World, and was its first games 
master — it is entirely human moderated. 

Nigel Mitchell is the senior of the two full 
time, salaried staff who now administer the 
game. After getting a degree in Engineering 
from Bristol, he had the choice of working 
for London Transport, or moving from 
Sussex to Cleveleys to take over the running 
of a planet. 

Nigel believes that the personal touch 
attracts a lot of people. "We try to process 
orders as soon as we get them — turn 
around is usually a couple of days." 

Human moderation also means that 
players have much wider scope for their 
imagination. But sometimes this can get out 
of hand. 

"We allowed one player to develop a 
teleport spell," says Nigel. "Everything 
was fine, until he sold it to somebody else, 
who promptly teleported the entire male 
population of a town one mile into the air. 
We've had to limit the power of that spell a 
bit since then." 

Nigel splits the running of the campaign 
with the other full time games master, 
Andy Smith, who gave up a job in a bank 
to work for KJC. In addition, a part-timer 
comes in to deal with game starts. Even 
with two and a half people working on the 
game, paperwork is piling up so much that 
Kevin has decided to recruit another full 
timer. 

He feels that expansion is necessary: 
"We want to keep up the quality and speed 
of response, and we can only do that by 
using full time people." 

The games masters are kept busy pro- 
cessing orders from the 450 players that the 
game has attracted over the last few years. 

"We first advertised Crasimoff 's World 
in August 1980, and we had about 30 
enquiries. Ten of those are still active," 
says Kevin. 

"We began 1984 with just 250 players, 
and the number has been increasing 
phenomenally. Seventy of our 450 players 
joined in the last two months." ► 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 11 



GOLD COLLECTION ■ GOLD COLLECTION ■ GOLD COLLECTION ■ GOLD COLLECTION - 



■The Quill 

O 48K Spectrum 



£14.95 



The Quill is a major new utility written in machine code which allows even 
the novice programmer to produce high-speed machine code adventures 
of superior quality to many available at the moment without any 
knowledge of machine code whatsoever. 

Using a menu selection system you may create well over 200 locations, 
describe them and connect routes between them. You may then fill them 
with objects and problems of your choice. Having tested your adventure 
you may alter and experiment with any section with the greatest of ease 
A part formed adventure may be saved to tape for later completion. When 
you have done so The Quill will allow you to produce a copy of your 
adventure which will run independently of the main Quill editor, so that 
you may give copies away to your friends. The Quill is provided with a 
detailed tutorial manual which covers every aspect of its use in writing 
adventures. 



i s 



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Magic Castle 

Rescue the Princess from the Magic 
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Booby Traps. 



From The Golden Nib Of 

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Comes a Gourmet Feast 

for 

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Volume 1 
of the 

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Devil's Island 

Escape from the infamous prison 
maybe impossible, but what 
alternative have you? 



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H INI 



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i 



A 

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Spyplane 

Can you survive and complete your 
mission high in the sky over enemy 
territory? 



Mindbender 

Only you alone can save the world 
from the terrible power of the 
Mindbender. 



Barsak The Dwarf 

Help Barsak recover the treasures of 
his ancestors from the underworld of 
mythology. 



wsss 



Diamond Trail 



A Superb collection of adventures for the 48K 
Spectrum written with the Quill. 
From the fertile imaginations of many authors, we 
have selected this fine volume of adventures for 
you to collect. Each adventure is complete in itself 
and is presented in the distictive livery of the 
series to grace your software shelf as you build up 
the collection. 
The adventures are priced at only £5.95 each. 

Selected titles available from good computer 



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^Crasimoff's World has become the first 
British designed game to be sold to 
America. Adventures By Mail, the third 
largest PBM company in the States, will be 
running the game for US players from 
August I. They will be starting off with 
more than 200 participants. 

ABM will have to print a new rule book 
for the States. They will also have to design 
a new version of the map. The US map will 
probably be far larger than the British map, 
as there is a greater pool of potential 
players in America. Many US games 
number players in the thousands rather 
than the hundreds. 

Up till now, Crasimoff's World has been 
the only game run by KJC: but from 
September 1, they will also be offering an 
American import — Earth wood. 

Developed by Game Systems Incor- 
ported, based in Miami, Florida, 
Earlhwood is a multi-player game requiring 
strategic and economic decisions. The 
objective for each of the 25 players is to 
control all the developed cities of the world, 
whether individually, or as one member of 
an alliance. There are over 2,000 players in 
the States, and GSI have processed over 
40,000 turns. 

Unlike Crasimoff's World, Earthwood is 
entirely computer moderated. KJC has had 
to buy an upgraded Apple 2+ with 80 
column card to run the specially designed 
programs that GSI provided. Altogether, 
the package required to start the game has 
set Kevin back over £3,000. 

"We don't foresee too many problems," 
claims Nigel. "Our wealth of experience 
with Crasimoff should stand us in good 
stead." 

Most players in Earthwood control 
kingdoms, but some will be playing 
individual characters with their own 
peculiar powers — the Wizard and the 
Necromancer, to name but two. 

"Earthwood," players are told in the 
front of the rule book, "is an ancient 
world." In ages long past, the inhabitants 
turned away from the Gods, and embraced 
science. As so often seems to happen when 
this sort of thing occurs, the ultimate 
weapon was used, and the world sank back 
into barbarism, each race becoming 
isolated from the rest. 

Only now, nearly 3,000 years after the 
cataclysm, are the separate groups (at least 
25 of them) beginning to come into contact 
again. 

The various cities dotted about the 
square gridded map (as opposed to 
Crasimoff's hexagon grid) can contain 
production centres for gold, food, or 
armour. 

A player's followers can be divided into a 
maximum of three groups, which can then 
be moved around the map, searching for 
the locations of the other cities of 
Earthwood, or for lost artefacts of great 




•-.ass 




Gamesmaster Nigel Mitchell hard at work on MAD's second turn-sheet 
power which may — or may not — be city: but you won't 



waiting for someone to pick them up. 

There are a number of strange creatures 
which can be met, and which might allow 
themselves to be recruited. These include 
werewolves, fairies, dragons, goblins, 
centaurs, giant spiders, trolls, and wild- 
men. 

Each character has a constitution score, 
which basically represents the fighting 
value and the amount of damage that can 
be taken. City walls also have a constitution 
factor, which must be overcome before an 
attacker can get at the defending force 
within. 

If a player believes that he, or his allies, 
controls all the developed cities of 
Earthwood, then he has the right to call for 
a count. The computer will check all the 
cities on the map, and will ask the other 
players still active if they acknowledge 
allegiance. If there is even one city left 
which the player or alliance does not 
control, or if one of the supposed allies 
denies his support, then the game 
continues. 

Obviously, then, if a player asks for a 
count and does not achieve victory, it 
means that he must either search for the 
hidden city or cities still holding out, or he 
must check the loyalty of the rest of the 
alliance. 

Like any game wholly moderated by a 
micro computer, the system has its plus and 
minus points. For example, if you attack a 
city, and win, your troops will enter that 



know if there are 
enough stocks of food within to feed your 
men. If there aren't, they revolt. So you 
have to be very careful indeed, and 
calculate everything to the last detail. 

KJC will be running Earthwood from 
September 1; the launch coincides with 
Games Day, at the Royal Horticultural 
Society's New Hall, in London. 
• If you are playing in Crasimoff's World 
already, then be warned! There is a party of 
MAD-men (and women — we're not sexist) 
wandering about the continent. We may 
not be very powerful in terms of numbers, 
but regular reviews of our progress will be 
appearing in future issues. 




KJC Games' address is 5 
Vicarage Avenue, Cleveleys, 
Blackpool, Lancashire, FY5 2BD 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 13 




Sphinx 






overture: 
the 




Intrepid explorers Robin and Jean Burgess tackle the ancient mysteries of 
Acornsoft's Sphinx Adventure, and show you how to get started 



THE FIRST "Adventure Games" were 
constructed on main-frame computers by 
programmers who wanted some 
recreational diversion that would test their 
"lateral thinking" and creative ability. 
These first examples were quite innovative 
(even if they had not-very-original names 
such as Adventure — which is the probable 
derivation of the generic name). They were 
a type of computer-simulation experience 
where the player was put into an imaginary 
situation, described by the computer- 
program, such that he or she had to make 
decisions about what to do in that 
situation. You could proceed to another 
location, if a means of exit were found 
from the first location, or investigate where 
you were currently situated, pick up objects 
that appeared in different places from time 
to time, and try and use those objects for 
various nefarious purposes. Usually some 
goal or objective was set, and the overall 



aim of the game was to fulfil that objective, 
though having an interesting 'journey' 
while doing so. 

The second generation of such games 
coincided with the advent of the 
microcomputer that home-user and school 
could actually own for themselves. After 
the initial spate of the arcade-type "bang- 
bang" game, which is still very popular 
now for the home-user, if not in schools, 
the "adventure-game" began to be 
produced for the microcomputer. These, at 
first, followed the initial models built by 
the "main-line" programmers. At last 
games for those micro owners who wanted 
to "think" were available. 

A couple of years ago, Acornsoft 
brought out for the BBC 'B' a program 
called Sphinx (already referred to in a 
number of articles and letters in previous 
issues of Micro Adventurer). This was one 
of the first adventure programs, adapted 



from the original versions, still with some 
of the same features. Three of the 
characters from the originals have made the 
transition. First, there is a belligerent dwarf 
who appears every now and again in order 
to frustrate your efforts at exploration. He 
does this by throwing axes at you at every 
opportunity. Woe betide you if you do not 
deal with him quickly enough! Then there is 
a bearded pirate who will simply steal a 
"treasure" from you if you meet him, 
before chortling off, as pirates do, into the 
distance! And of course there is the 
obligatory troll to whom you must give one 
of your "treasures" before you are able to 
pass him. 

Later adventure-games have included 
pictures as part of the description for some 
of the different places you may find 
yourself. Perhaps Sphinx, a text-only 
adventure, partly makes up for this with the 
sheer number and variety of the locations, 



forest 




14 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



Sphinx Adventure 

for the BBC Microcomputer Model B 



together with the different types of problem 
which you have to solve in order to reach 
your goal. (It is probably quite likely that 
an adventure published today lacking both 
sound and pictures, and having only 
monochrome text, would not sell nearly as 
well as Sphinx has done.) Programmed in 
BASIC, the author has filled just under 
25K of the BBC's memory and so, to add 
pictures, clearly some of the 150 locations 
would have to be dispensed with. This 
would possibly result in a certain loss of 
complexity. 

The object of the game is to find the 
Sphinx itself, and lay at its feet as much 
treasure as you can discover. Certain 
objects are not obviously valuable, such as 
the carrot, but of course the maximum 
possible score of 800 cannot be achieved 
without having all the objects the Sphinx 
considers of value. Needless to say the 
location of the Sphinx remains hidden until 
the majority of the rest of the game has 
been solved. The surmise that the Sphinx 
will be found in a desert turns out to be 
correct, but that doesn't help a great deal as 
the desert turns out to be a complex maze 
of no less than 20 apparently-identical 
locations. 

Arguably the author has cheated a bit 
with his locations as the game contains not 
one maze but three different mazes, though 
the other two are both smaller than the 
desert. (This does not necessarily mean that 
they are simpler!) It also comes as a 
pleasant revelation to realise suddenly that 
there are two Red Rooms. It is a fairly 
common feature that a 'blockage', making 
your way impassable in some particular 
place, has as its solution the bringing of an 
object that is to be found a long way away. 
Obviously you need a boat to cross the 
Lake, but can you find it nearby? Not a, 
chance. Another example is the elephant 
found blocking the way in the Maharajah's 
Palace. Miles away from here a certain tiny 
grey furry creature scampers around but, of 
course, you cannot catch him without 
finding some suitable bait. Where else to 
find this but near the Gnomes' Kitchen, 
which in turn is far distant from the said 
cuddly creature? 




A clue at the beginning of the game 
suggesting the use of magic is not to be 
disregarded, though it is persistence rather 
than magic that is called for in dealing with 
the ubiquitious dwarf! Fairly early on, too, 
the Magician's wand is a vital asset. 
Without it you will not progress very far at 
all. Another interesting touch, also taken 
from the original main-frame versions, are 
the friendly creatures that latch onto you 
and follow you around. Unfortunately they 
can be quite hard to shake off! 

Eventually you discover how to make 
bridges (it is certainly a very economical 




method!) and when it is safe to cross them. 
You can probably work out how to pass the 
crocodile in the Everglades fairly quickly, 
but how do you pass it a second time? 
There are some interesting-sounding 
locations such as the faded Yellow Brick 
Road, the Fairy Grotto, the Alchemist's 
Laboratory and certain 4 'obligatory ' ' 
places, such as the Quicksand, the 
Dragon's Lair and the Hall of the 
Mountain King. There are a large number 
of objects, and each one is needed for 
something. Either it is one of the treasures 
you are seeking, or it is necessary in order 
to overcome some obstacle, or to solve 
some kind of puzzle (or in one or two cases, 
it is for both of these). 

There is a limit, since you are human, to 
the number of objects you can carry. As 
some of the items you can find don't seem 
to be useful for ages and ages you might be 
tempted to drop certain things, or not even 
bother to pick them up in the first place. 
You might well despair of ever finding a use 
for the keys, for example, which you find 
very quickly, and which sound as though 
they ought to be useful. Hang on to them 
though and one day, perhaps two weeks 
after you start this game, you will find the 
lock they open! 

There is also a Secret Word (which shall 
here remain unuttered!) that does amazing 
things in certain places. Furthermore any 
treasure that the Bearded Pirate, 
unpleasant fellow, snatches from you, plus 
the treasure you give the Troll at the, wait 
for it, "Troll Toll Bridge" can be 
recovered! Another feature of the 



"creature-encounters", such as your 
meetings with the Ogre, the Ore and the 
Dragon, not to mention the Goblins, is that 
you must dispatch them in exactly the right 
way. If you try the wrong method, or do 
nothing, you may well come to a sticky 
end! 




Perhaps a suggestion as to how to tackle 
the dreaded maze (or indeed, any maze) 
would be in order before looking at one or 
two of the locations in greater detail. 
Firstly, if you reach locations that seem to 
be very similar check initially if the 
locations are indeed exactly the same. For 
example, there are six occurrences of "You 
are at a cross in the tunnels". That part of 
the description is identical. However you 
will find that the exits from these locations 
vary from one place to the next. Obviously 
a careful map needs to be drawn as you 
proceed. (Incidentally as the tunnels twist 
and turn, going north from one place does 
not necessarily mean you can go south to 
return to the same place.) One of the main- 
frame versions contained "a maze of twisty 
passages", "a twisty maze of passages", 
"a twisting maze of passages" etc. so 
careful observation would note that these 
places were not in fact absolutely identical. 

What should vou do when locations ^ 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 15 







Fancy a game of 
dragon slaying 
and dungeon looting? 

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adventures 
can be found in 



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White Dwarf \s available 
on the fourth Friday of 
each month atyour news- 
agent or games shop. 
Order your copy today. 
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The Giant in Fantasy 









Am 





16 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



•4 are exactly the same, (including exits,) 
such as in the desert? What is needed is 
some way of making each location unique, 
so that if you return to a place you have 
been before, you will know without 
question that you have returned. Here is 
another use for all the objects, including 
the apparently useless ones that you are 
carrying around. If you put a unique object 
in a place that is otherwise indistinguishable 
from a second place, that makes the first 
place unique and thus different from the 
second. If you make a careful map, 
(assuming you have the patience to do all 
this) while you are gaily abandoning your 
hard-won objets d'art, theoretically you 
can then number individually each 
apparently-identical location. There are 
two problems with this: firstly, finding and 
picking up all the objects again, and 
secondly hoping that no-one (like the 
pirate) has come along in your absence and 
removed some of your treasures! This 
second point is a definite snag to the whole 
method, of course, but fortunately does not 
occur in Sphinx. 

Having ourselves spent several evenings 
over a couple of weeks before eventually 
reaching the magic score of 800, we take 
pity upon the nervous adventurer just 
setting out. What follows is therefore an 
introduction to the very first part of 
Sphinx, in order that you may progress at 
least a certain distance, together with a map 
of this first section of the game. 

You begin on the top of a mountain. You 
quickly learn the penalty of going anywhere 
except North along the road: your only 
reward is getting lost in the forest! (If you 
should get lost, just persevere in trying to 
find your way out.) Now, should you pick 
up the bottle? It might be booby-trapped! 

Following the path East where you find 
the bottle brings you to the brink of the" 
Valley of Doom. It would be most unwise 
to go down into this without a source of 
light. (When we tried this the first time I 
didn't want to go down at all, but my wife 
bullied me into it!) Fortunately there is a 
lamp, together with the set of keys already 
mentioned, free for the taking inside the 
Old Smithy. Where is that exactly? We 
leave you to find it. 

So with trepidation, you go down into 
the Valley of Doom (making sure you light 
your lamp). If you now go East you reach 
some crossroads (not the motel). Here you 
encounter the infamous bearded pirate. 
Now, as we have said, the pirate is partial 
to treasure (as pirates are) and he seems to 
regard your bottle as such. This might not 
seem to matter but when you go North to 
the Lake, you can no longer collect any 
water — very useful for quenching things! 
How do you stop the pirate from stealing 
your bottle, then? You could try leaving the 
bottle before you reach the crossroads then 
going to attack him with your bare hands. 
(We're not sure if this works because we 
eventually managed to by-pass him.) 

Once you have reached the Lake (and 
doesn't the far shore beckon?) you can go 
East to the Banqueting Hall, where of 
course you pick up the food which just 




JUttlKht J (up) 



I 




- ytytuowv&rtcK 



happens to be lying there — and of course 
you don't eat it yourself!: someone or 
something else might want it! Up from the 
Banqueting Hall leads you to the Sword 
Chamber — aha! Now, if you can find 
another way round to this sword, perhaps 
that is what you can use against the pirate. 
So try South from the Hall of Spirits 
instead of East. This leads to the 
Gardener's Store (yes, do pick up the 
carrot), and, via a T-junction where you 
must carefully map your directions, you 
can reach either the Sorcerer's Lair (and the 
valuable Wand) or the elusive Sword 
Chamber. 

Eventually you reach the Fiery Passage 
where the flames drive you back if you try 
to go East. So dare you throw the water, 
which will presumably mean losing it? You 
still have to elude the Pirate if you wish to 
go back for some more water. We always 
felt it would be good to have a full bottle of 
water with us if at all possible. (After all, 
you might get very thirsty if you ever 
manage to find the desert!) Perhaps a 
digression is necessary at this point before 
you go through the Fiery Passage. Just 
possibly you have met the dwarfish 
adversary by this time. The first axe he 

throws at you 
does not vanish 
as do all 
subsequent 
ones. If 
you dare 
spend time 
picking it 
up, you 
can then 




throw it back at him! (This is not always 
100% reliable, unfortunately!) You must 
also remember to retrieve your weapon(s) 
for another such occasion! — an alternative 
might be to try your sword. 

And the Fiery Passage? Let us hope you 
have made it through safely. Facing you is a 
wide chasm. North here will take you to 
some silver, which is very nice, but it will 
not help you cross the chasm. We will leave 
you to puzzle out how you might achieve 
this objective, merely reminding you of the 
clue at the beginning of your travels about 
Magic. 

In addition to the above, we include too a 
partial map of what is usually the next part 
of an adventurer's journey, where you 
come across the Crocodile, the faded 
Yellow Brick Road and the Fairy Grotto, 
though not necessarily in that order. 

As final comments, we feel that Sphinx is 
a game that provides considerable challenge 
in the various problems it sets, enabling you 
to pretend that you are really thinking 
"laterally" at times! We felt that the 
smaller mazes were quite interesting to 
plough away at, because they were slightly 
different at most of the locations, whereas 
the desert seemed to be complication for 
complication's sake, and therefore much 
less interesting. We thought it was a 
definite drawback to have no colour, 
pictures, or sound; a SAVE routine would 
also have been helpful. A rather weak 
comment when at last we had reached the 
800 points accorded to the complete 
solution was quite an anti-climax too, 
especially after having spent so much time 
in the attaining thereof. 

Balanced against these negative com- 
ments, perhaps we should bear in mind that 
the game was one of the first for the BBC, 
that it does seem to be bug-free and devoid 
of spelling mistakes, and above all, people 
are still buying it! 



Adventure 


: Sphinx Adventure 


Micro 


: BBC B 


Price 


: £9.95 


Format 


: Cassette 


Supplier 


: Acornsoft, 4a Market 




Hill, Cambridge 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 17 







Tom Frost travels through time on the trail of Vran 
Verusbel and Delphia — leader and priestess of a cult of 

mad monks 



MOUNTAINS OF KET, Temple of Vran 
and a third adventure, entitled The Final 
Mission, comprise The Ket Trilogy, for 
which there is the incentive of £400 worth 
of video equipment. This prize is for the 
first adventurer to identify a message, a 
short part of which is revealed only on 
successful completion of each adventure. 

Prizes for computer games are not new, 
but this time it would appear that the 
identification of a winner is a decided 
possibility. The ridiculously high rewards 
offered by Pimania and Krakit are 
protected by equally ridiculous and, to 
date, impossible to solve puzzles. The Ket 
Trilogy offers a more modest prize and, on 
the evidence of the first two adventures, a 
hope of eventual success. Mountains of Ket 
opens the trilogy as a modest challenge with 
several interesting features, followed by the 
more difficult Temple of Vran. It is to be 
expected that the final adventure will 
continue this progression but remain within 
the bounds of possibility. 

In the trilogy you assume the role of a 
wrongly-convicted murderer, offered a^ 
reprieve in return for the destruction of 
Vran Verusbel and Delphia, the leader and 
priestess of a cult of mad monks who are 
terrorising the Land of Ket. In order to 




ensure your loyalty, a magic assassin bug 
accompanies you and also provides details 
of anything you may encounter. 

Before you set out you are informed of 
the value of some vital attributes under the 
categories of Prowess, Strength and Luck. 
In any fight these attributes are compared 
with those of your opponent, over a series 
of rounds, in order to determine the victor. 
This combat feature injects a flavour of 
Dungeons and Dragons into basically 
standard two word input text adventures, 
and enhances the atmosphere of hidden 
danger. 

With a sword in your possession, and this 
combat routine to be used, it is tempting to 
kill in order to obtain possession of vital 
objects. However, such indiscriminate use 
of your prowess is to be discouraged, unless 
there is no alternative. 

Riding along 

In part one, the objective is to find your 
way to, and finally through, the mountains. 
The action begins on a road leading into a 
small village. You are informed that the 
mountains are a short horse-ride to the 
east. From this information, it is logical to 
assume that you will never reach the 
mountains without a horse. A short stroll 
around the village soon identifies the 
presence of a stable where the stableman 
demands four coins for the purchase of a 
horse. But you have only two coins! An 
increase in your wealth can be obtained by 
considering the shopkeeper as a friendly 
trader and providing the cartographer with 
the means to fight off the cold. A nice 
gentle start to the task, but the response to 
SCORE indicates that this initial success 
has barely scratched the surface. 

A short horse-ride does take you to the 
mountains and, once inside, the action gets 
more furious with many obstacles to 
overcome. In certain instances here, the 
sequence of commands is quite precise and 
in particular the problem of the hungry dog 
is inexorably tied to further progress. 

The puzzles to be solved in the mountain 
caves are often inter-related, with some 
objects having a dual purpose. The empty 
bottle, for instance, can be filled with oil 
and magic elixir but what to do with either? 
Both have a purpose and the "spring in 
your step" after drinking the elixir wears 
off after a short time, making the choice of 
location for imbibing one plateau which 
must be scaled very precisely. 



Bribery and gambling are both 
encountered and, although the former is 
quite newsworthy, the latter really is a 
gamble, so that before entering into the 
dice game it is wise to exercise the SAVE 
option. 

Delphia eventually proves to be a rather 
tame opponent, disappearing in a cloud of 
green smoke, only to re-appear in Temple 
of Vran. 

The exit from the mountains is eventually 
discovered by dressing up as a wizard and 
solving the final HELP clue that wizards 
are totally magical. The word totally is the 
clue here for an action foreign to all under- 
ground adventurers. 

Mountains of Ket is an enjoyable, not 
too difficult adventure, which should 
certainly encourage successful adventurers 
to move on to Temple of Vran. This can be 
played independently of Mountains of Ket 
but it is possible to carry forward your 
attributes if you so wish. Now on the other 
side of the mountains, your objective is to 
seek out and kill the occupants of the 
castle. The format is substantially similar to 
the first part, and again it is important to 
preserve your vital strength and luck 
points. 




Incentive's Steve Benfiels and Richard 
McCormack 

Initial exploration reveals a large number 
of locations and strange objects with 
interesting possibilities. For instance, will 
the mouse waken the sleeping kitten or 
perhaps frighten the elephant into motion? 
Will the trampoline enable you to jump on 
to the elephant or up to a hole high in a 
wall? The kitten and mouse both ignore the 
offer of food but the elephant will follow 
you to the cliff top to get it. 

As with Mountains of Ket, several items 
perform a dual purpose but after only a few 
false starts you should be swinging across a 
quicksand pit to meet the delightful 



18 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



Aphrodite. The reward of a key for the 
castle is offered for successful completion 
of tasks in two different time zones to 
which she sends you. The first is 1940 where 
you are subjected to exploding bombs and 
to the indignity of wearing a moustache 




(are all adventurers male?). 
The second time zone is 2300 and, as with 



1940, this should pose no serious problems 
as success is obtained by simply picking up, 
using, or wearing all of the easily found 
objects. However, it is imperative to return 
to the present time zone with any other 
objects for which there was no apparent 
use. 

Rewarded with the key it only remains to 
find the castle. You know where it is and 
can see it across a stream of lava, but how 
to reach it? Once across the lava (no clues 
for how) you will discover one vital puzzle 
thrown at you. Final success depends on 
having eight objects with you but you can 
carry only seven and cannot re-cross the 
lava. Nice one. 

A question of logic 

As with most good adventures the 
solutions to all the puzzles are maddeningly 
logical when they are finally discovered, 
although the two time zone sections of 
Temple of Vran are not of the high 
standard of the rest of the adventures. 

Two minor criticisms are perhaps worthy 
of mention. The noun vocabulary could be 
more extensive — it does not even recognise 
the existence of your travelling companion, 
Edgar, and on a few occasions the response 
to an input (always a fatal one) is only 
fleetingly displayed on screen. 

Due to the prize on offer no HELP sheet 
is available yet from Incentive Software, 
but a careful re-read of this article mav 




provide a few clues. The third part of the 
trilogy is due to appear in Autumn 1984. 
All those with the first two parts of the 
apparently meaningless message should be 
eager to explore The Final Mission. □ 



Adventure 

Micro 

Format 

Price 

Supplier 



The Ket Trilogy 
Spectrum 48K 
Cassette 
£5.50 each 
Incentive Software 



The Character 




Generator' 

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 

This program for the 48K SPECTRUM will generate 
a FULL D + D character, including all these features: 

9. STR. INT. WIS. DEX, CON, 
CIR. and ALL relevent tables 

10. Hit points 

I I. Armour class 

1 2. Languages (52 different types) 

13. Spells 

14. All thief's. monk"s abilities, etc. 

15. All race bonuses 

16. Age. and all age bonuses 

Also option to dump all characteristics to the ZX-PRINTER 

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3. 7 races 

4. 14 levels (only if race and character permits) 

5. 9 alignments 

6. 8 armour types 

7. Money 

8. Weapons (a fighter can choose from 
49 different types) 




September 1984 Micro Adventurer 19 




PLAY-BY 



MAIL 

FANTASY 
GAMES 




Bound only by the The ultimate Science 
imagination of its Fiction Rintasy Game. 



players, the game 



Galactic exploration, 
of fantasy, ambition negotiation & combat 
diplomacy & conquest. 



You play a tribe on the world of Crane ... a beautiful, intriguing 
planet of fertile plains and myriad seas. Proud cities and profound 
arts were devastated by the great plague; but now the tribes are 
uniting once more, joining the struggle for survival and mastery. 
Diplomatic and tactical skills are more vital than mere size and 
military strength as you experience the thrill of danger and the 
excitement of discovery. Play a WANDERING, MERCHANT, SEA or 
WAR tribe, in this exceptional and absorbing game experience. 



in the vast unknown. 

You play a people in a galaxy of unknown planets and star systems, 
set in the far future. You design your own species, choose your 
home planet type, ideology and political system. As the race 
develops, your technological abilities increase, and so do the 
possibilities: telepathy, psionics, self-teleportation, star fleets, and 
any number of tactical or scientific progressions. Negotiation with 
other players will be vital, as you vie for supremacy and roam the 
galaxy. 




These are play-by-mail games: hundreds of players in 
the same game send in turns to Mitregames, while 
negotiating with each other as they wish. Payment is 
' according to turns played. The complete start-up 
package for either THE TRIBES OF CRANE or 
STARMASTER is available in your local games 
shop, price £9. 95, which includes the first two 
turns of play. In case of difficulty, games may 
be ordered post free from Mitregames, at the 
address below, enclosing cheque/postal order 
for the games you require. 
Trade enquiries to: Games Workshop, 
27/29 Sunbeam Road, London, NW10 6PJ 
U.S. enquiries to: Games Workshop, 
91 1 0 F. Red Branch Road, Columbia, MD 21 045, USA 





MITREGAMES 

77 Burntwood Grange 
Wandsworth Common, London SW18 



r\ nmteron 



STUART LORIMER writes 
from Aberdeen about Incen- 
tive's program, Mountains of 
Ket. This is an interesting 

adventure, and is the first part 
of a trilogy, with a prize 
waiting at the end for the lucky 
winner. There is a lot of 
monster-bashing in this one, 
and the screen layouts are 
better than average. 

Stuart's questions are typical 
of the problems met by the 
people stuck in the adventure. 

"I have noticed that some 
objects, such as the Dice, 
cannot be TAKEn. Is this a 
bug? Apart from this, I have 
other problems in the main 
adventure. I have entered the 
mountain, got through the 
"Mint with the Hole" and 
even swum the River and met 
the Ogre. What now? Is there 
some way of passing the Skull, 
the Ogre, and the Shut Door at 
the top of the ramp? If so, 
please tell me before I shove 
my head through the telly 
screen!" 

Unfortunately, Stuart, I 
have not seen Ket (although 
the screen layout and method 
of play is much the same as the 
second part of the trilogy, 
Temple of Vrari), so I cannot 
help you — but, rest easy, 
Help is at hand. Tom Frost has 



MICRO CBM64 Adventure 
The Hulk Problem What do I 
do with the gas outlet, and how 
do I kill the ants? Name Sean 
Mackey Address 51 Hayman 
Avenue, Leigh, Gt. Man- 
chester WN7 3UF. 
MICRO CBM64 Adventure 
Zork III Problem How do I get 
past the sailor in the Viking 
ship? Name Shawn Crisp 
Address 90 Barvelle Close, St 
Nobert Road, London SE4. 
MICRO Spectrum 48K 
Adventure Quest Problem I 
have the long key, and just 
about everything else, but 
can't get into the castle. Name 
Mick Ruddy Address 12 The 
Avenue, Linthorpe, Middles- 
borough, Cleveland. 
MICRO Spectrum 48K 
Adventure Colditz Problem 
How do I dig under the outer 
fence, cross the roof, and get 
past the watch-tower? Name 
Timothy Gibbens Address 7 
Buckstone Drive, Edinburgh 
EH10 6PH. 

MICRO Spectrum 48K 
Adventure Quest for the Holy 
Grail Problem Where is the 
vegetable to get past the 



If you need advice or 
have some to offer 
write to Tony Bridge, 
Adventure Help, Micro 
Adventurer, 12-13 Little 
Newport St, London 




written an article for Micro 
Adventurer about Ket and 
Vran, and his experiences with 
the program, as well as a 
move-by-move solution and 
maps. It appears in this issue, 
but you might like to write to 
him (enclosing an SAE, of 
course, and bearing in mind 
that, as there is a valuable prize 
waiting for the first successful 
player, Mr Frost will give you 
maybe 99% of the solution!). 
His address is The Links, 
Montrose, Angus. 

While you're at it, ask him 
about his own, very reason- 
ably-priced adventure, Magic 
Treasure, which I'm sure he 
would like to tell you about! 

Kelvin Lodge has managed 



to score 1076 out of a possible 
1100 points in Colossal 
Adventure and wants to know 
where the extra points are 
going to come from. First of 
all, Kelvin, smashing the 
Mirror is not necessary — the 
shadowy figure that waves 
back at you in another location 
is your reflection in this 
mirror! To get your treasures 
back from the Troll, try 
throwing something beastly at 
him. 

As for Snowball — yes, I 
know that it can often be 
frustrating. It's a complex 

adventure, however, and clues 
are difficult to give. From the 
coffin at the start, go Up and 
then North and then into the 



ADVENTURE CONTACT 



Knights of Ni? Name Darren 
Cooper Address 21 Yorke 
Way, Ely, Cambs., CB6 3DT. 



MICRO CBM 64 Adventure 
Starcross Problem How to get 
into the drive bubble? Name 




HAVE YOU BEEN staring at the screen for days, or given 
up in disgust, stuck in an adventure whose problems seem 
insurmountable? Adventure Contact may be the answer. 
This column is designed to put adventurers in touch with one 
another. When you're stumped a fellow adventurer may be 
able to help — and you may be able to solve other people's 
problems. If you are having difficulties with an adventure, 
fill in this coupon and send it to Adventure Contact, Micro 
Adventurer, 12/13 Little Newport St, London WC2R 3LD. 
We will publish Adventure Contact entries each month in 
this special column. 



Micro 

Adventure 
Problem- 
Name 

Address 




passage and head East. You 
could try saying "Sesame" 
occasionally! The Nightingales 
will only enter blue mortuaries 
on the white level. I can't be of 
much more help without 
knowing details of the 
problems, but there are various 
bits of apparatus to assemble, 
in a quite logical way, and a 
very important code to crack. 

On, quickly, to Hewson's 
adventure, Quest. Stuart Mill- 
inship and Andy Creamer are 

among several people who 
have written asking for help in 
this brilliant game. Stuart is 
stuck in the two mazes of 
Quest, and has trouble at the 
door of Castle Oops, while 
Andy has scored but 86 out of 
the possible 600. 

Referring to the list of 
words, Stuart, from the 
starting location, go: 3-1-3-3 
which will bring you to the 
burrow. From the maze 
entrance, go 2-4-2-2, and to 
return, 2-2. To gain entrance 
to the Castle, look in June's 
issue of MAD, where all 
should be revealed. My thanks 
to those intrepid Adventurers, 
Alan and Daphne Davis for the 
help in Quest. 

1 WEST; 2 SOUTH; 
3 NORTH; 4 EAST; 



Nigel Morse Address 1 1 Green 
Leafe Avenue, Wheatley Hills, 
Doncaster, DN2 5RG. 
MICRO Spectrum 48K Adven- 
ture Knight's Quest Problem 
How to get past the Giant! 
Name Martin McGuinness 
Address 3 Harwell Close, West 
Ruislip, Middlesex. 
MICRO Dragon 32 Adventure 
Franklin's Tomb Problem 
How to give the carrots to the 
rabbit, and the fly to the 
spider? Name Lee Booth 
Address 1 Ellastone Avenue, 
Bestwood, Park Estate, 
Nottingham, NG5 5RN. 
MICRO BBC B Adventure 
Colossal Adventure Problem 
How to open the clam? Where 
is the Pirate's chest? What use 
is the beanstalk? Name Darren 
Richardson Address 6 Cedar- 
hurst Rise, Newtownbreda, 
Belfast BT8 4RJ. 
MICRO CBM 64 Adventure 
The Hulk Problem How do I 
change into the Hulk without 
the gas changing me back? 
How do I get outside without 
being crushed? Name Martin 
Fry Address 1 03 Wattleton 
Road, Beaconsfield, Bucks. 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 21 








The first of a series of articles on Multi User Dungeon, 
written by one of the game's authors, Richard Bartle 



BACK IN 1980, when the PSS network 
was Experimental PSS (and hence free), a 
couple of students from Essex University 
used the facility to log onto the computer 
in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of 
MIT in America, and sent a message out 
on the ZORK mailing list. Due to the fact 
that EPSS was renowned for crashing any 
time it felt like it, the message had to be 
short and yet arouse the curiosity of those 
receiving it. The two students were myself 
and Roy Trubshaw, who were eager to let 
the world know about our new computer 
game. The message read, "You haven't 
lived 'til you've died in MUD". 

Since those early days, when MUD's 
only external players were those 
Americans patient enough to brave EPSS 
for a few minutes' play, MUD has spanned 
the globe. Recent players include people in 
Australia and Japan, and there are copies 
of MUD running in Portugal and Sweden. 



The game has built up a large following 
here in Britain, and has over 20,000 hours 

• 

of playing time behind it. 

For those who don't know, MUD 
stands for Multi- User Dungeon. It's the 
world's first adventure game which allows 
more than one person to wander around 
in its environment at the same time. This 
means that you're not the only intelligent 
being playing the game, and other real live 
people sitting at their own micros some 
miles away are there in the game with you, 
picking up the treasures you wanted to 
pick up yourself, shouting seemingly inane 
comments to other players you've not yet 
encountered, and setting about with a 
large axe when you finally come across 
someplace that hasn't been looted ahead 
of you. 

MUD is big — very big. It runs on Essex 
University's DECsystem-10 computer, 
which during the daytime services the 



whole of the campus. Only at night does it 
have any spare capacity, and it is then that 
the university generously opens up MUD 
to people out in the real world, or 
"externals" as they are known in 
MC/Dspeke ("internals" are people who 
play it from the university itself)- 

Now the reason I'm telling you all this 
in a magazine called Micro Adventurer and 
not one called Mainframe Adventurer is 
because, like it or not, in the next few 
years multi-player games like MUD are 
going to become the dominating factor in 
adventure games. The reason for this is 
quite simple — MUDs are absolutely 
fantastic to play! The fact that it's You 
against Them, rather than You against It, 
adds an extra electricity you just can't 
experience in a single-player game. If you 
like adventure games already, MUD will 
absolutely slay you (often literally!). 

And, of course, you WILL be able to 




cove 



WORTH 




WATERS 



SEA 




WRHCKEP 
GALLEON 



VICIOUS 
ROCKS 




RAILWAV^^ 




DALE 



£^F*DDOCK 

LAR6E- 
MOUNTAIN 




0 ^IV^Ofoot- 



I ILLS 




g^AT£N _TFLACK 
GARDEN 



HOLE IN WALL 

START 



TUNNEL 

woe* 

V CUFF) 



PATCH 



PASTURE 



COTTAGE 



PASTOR 



HUT 




LAR6 




□ «X>T-\V MOUNTAIN 
HILLS 



WATErVALL^ 




PASTURE 
$-PtN£T£ SUNDIAL^*-* 



CAVE 3 

' UNDER 

mountain) 





22 Micro Adventurer September 1984 




MOUNTAIN 



* VALLEY* 
(SAME NEXT TO MUD) 



LARGE 
MOUNTAIN 



TALL WALL 



CLIFF! 



MINE 
ENTRANCE 



WOOD 



TT 



FOOTHILLS 



FOOTHILLS 



POND 



/v\au33l£um 



> M MiSTr 
GRAVEYARD 



PATCH 



.<$7 - 



SHRINE 



HIST 



a za. 



* a * **** 1 * 



GARDEN 



THATCHED 
COTTAGE 



A. 



TUNNEL 



WATERFALL 



*•••'••• • • 



/\aM 



X--.v:>;.'INLET': :&>4?flft , 



ROCKS 



SEA 



A panoramic view of the mainland of MUD, seen from the vicious rocks 



play on your micro, although not the 
same way as you do at present. In the 
current arrangement, you buy (a likely 
story!) your cassette and run the software 
on your own machine; when MUD goes 
commercial you won't be able to get a 
copy anywhere in the shops. What you 
will be able to get is some sort of package, 
explaining to you all you ever wanted to 
know about the game, and access details 
on how to contact the host computer 
over some network. You follow these 
instructions and there you are, in a game 
with 100 other people, who are also sitting 
at home playing on the mainframe via 
their own micros. The only cost is that 
for the network (telephone, cable or 
whatever) and around a pound an hour 
peak times for the game itself. 

The MUD program comes in two parts, 
the database and the interpreter. The 
former is a description of the world, what 
will happen if people type certain things, 
and what will happen of its own accord 
whether you do anything or not. The 
latter is the program which takes in 
commands from the user and follows the 
sequence of actions which this entails as 
defined in the database. To clarify this, 
you can look on the database as if it were, 
say, a BASIC program. It describes exactly 
what it is you want to happen, but doesn't 
actually do anything. The interpreter is like 
the BASIC interpreter, which reads in the 
program (database) and brings it to life. 
MUD's interpreter comes in two parts, 

one which compiles the human-readable 
database into computer-readable form, 
and one which loads and runs this. 



There are three MUD databases at 
present: MUD, VALLEY and ROCK. 
MUD is the main one, VALLEY is a 
smaller area which adjoins it; travel 
between the two is possible, although 
communication isn't. ROCK is a version 
of ITV's Fraggle Rock, and is generally 
regarded to be impossibly deadly! MUD 
has over 400 rooms, the other two are 
about 100 each. For this reason, I'll tend 
to talk about MUD most of the time. 

The reason for partitioning MUD in 
this way is that you can port if over to 
other machines very easily, at least in 
theory. All you need to do is to rewrite 
the intepreter, and the database can remain 
unchanged. Unfortunately, the database is 
at quite a high level, and the interpreter is 
pretty collosal. When MUD is rewritten 
for commercial use (ie you pay to play), 
the interpreter will be much smaller, the 
brunt of the work being done in the 
database because it's more transportable. 

When you run MUD it looks, to start 
with, like an average adventure game. It 
asks you for a name, what sex you want 
to be, and a password. Then it gives you 
the description of the first room. MUD's 
descriptions are normally 7 or 8 lines 
long — any more and you'd get killed in 
the time you took reading them! The 
object descriptions come on separate lines 
(to give some hint that they're not actually 
part of the description, and you can DO 
things to them), and so does the 
information about who is present in the 
room with you. 

The aim of MUD is to collect points. 
There are three ways to do this. The most 



common way is to get treasure and drop it 
in the swamp, which effectively puts it out 
of the game so points can't be scored for 
it twice. The second most common way is 
by killing people. When you top another 
player, youwget 1/24 of their points, in 
general. Them, third way is to do some 
menial task like making the bed or 

drinking some|||S^pring water, although 
the points for ^^^^J^ ese are piteously 

You can losf^^^^^^ 
Points can be lost 
stupid things like 
smoke the wolfs- 
more often than 
go when you're 
MUD you die 
and it depends 
happened as to 
permanent it is. 



oints, too. 
i for doing 
trying to 
bane, but 
not they 
killed. In 
often, 
how it 
how 
If 




September 1984 Micro Adventurer 23 



CRASIMOFF'S WORLD is a Play-By-Mail game of I 
exploration and adventure where hundreds of different I 
players have the chance to interact with each other on a I 
grand scale. A complete world with magic, gods, exotic I 
races, fearsome creatures has been developed along I 
with a flexible game system which gives you plenty of I 
freedom of action. This and the effort put into each turn I 
by our experienced gamesmasters has made I 
Crasimoff's World the best known PBM game in the 
UK. 

As a player you assume the role of chieftain in a band of 
brave adventurers set on gaining knowledge and 
power. Your party will set out from one of the small 
towns knowing nothing about the world apart from a 
few rumours. As you travel you will learn more about 
the land and its secrets, encounter other parties, races 
and creatures. |J 

Eami Wood I 

THE MAJOR i US PLAY-BY-MAIL GAME 

EARTHWOOD, has been running for over 3 years in 
America and currently has over 2,000 players. In this 
unique computer moderated Play-By-Mail game, 
twenty-five players compete to control all the cities of 
Earthwood and be the ultimate ruler. A typical game will 
last about 18 months with the first knockouts after 
about six months. 

Each player is either a king of a fantasy race or a 
powerful charismatic character in this world of 
conquest and sorcery. Your character or king controls 
several groups each of which is totally independent of 
each other. You can recruit NPC trolls, wildmen, and 
others or even control powerful creatures such as 
dragons or giant spiders. Your characters may also 
control or capture cities, upon which you can spend 
gold to improve security, increase your workshops 
production, build defences and maintain or enlarge your 
army. With gold your wizards can undertake magical 
research to increase their power and knowledge and 
thus aid your armies in battle. Spies can search out 
enemy strongholds, attempt to do acts of sabotage, 
theft, and assasination. These are just a few of the 
options available to a player in EARTHWOOD. 
Earthwood or Crasimoff's World can be joined for 
£5.00. For this you receive the rulebook and 
registration form, set up sheets and first three turns. 
Future turns are £1 .50 each. 

JOIN THE WORLD OF 

PBM with Kfc 

NAME 

ADDRESS 

I enclose cheque/PO payable to 

KJC Games for enrolement into: 

□ Crasimoff's World M^T\ 

□ Earthwood 

Return to: 

KJC Games, 5 Vicarage Avenue, ^ a ueo 
Cleveleys, Lancashire FY5 2BD. OHMED 



REICHSWALD 



SPECTRUM 48K 

£5.50 

Can you succeed 
where the American 
War Machine failed and 
cross the Rhine ahead 
of schedule in a 
computer wargame 
where at last the 
computer provides a 
worthy opponent. A 
game that's easy to 
learn, impossible to 

master 



MM 



.V. 



ESVVORLd^S 



L 



11 Fennel Street, Manchester M4 6DU. 061-834 2292 

Trade and Distribution Enquiries welcome 
Good strategy programmes needed 






PtS 



For use on 

48K 
SPECTRUM 



Full22-team League 
42-match season 



Da 19 I i £h 
Livarpoo I 




Eve f 



4-6 

ton 



inutes 



: Be a fop tactician and 

• Orvscreeficommentaryshw^ IVdfC/) VOUT tOBM OlOY M 

scoce, name of player in possession * 

the safety of your home! 



time played 
Individual player skills 



• LeaQue table and results on screen and 
printer 

• Save season to date on tape 



Also form any league of 
<£Z^\ 22 teams and pick 
. unc p 5 »°p.)\ your own players! 

Order direct from-^^— ^ ™" 
CROSS SOFTWARES A) Also available from selected stores 
Z.m . a m /» in the London area (including 

36 Langford Crescent, n M tore , 0x ford street) 

,rnet, Herts, EN4 9EH 1 



24 Micro Adventurer September 1984 




■4 you're dead, it usually means you did 
something which killed you, like jump off 
the cliff without some sort of parachute, 
or drink some poison or whatever. This 
in MUDspeke, the jargon MUD players 
use, is termed as being "dead". You can 
come back from being dead, but you lose 
points for it. If you are killed in a fight, 
however, you end up permanently 
deceased, or "dead dead". Hence, 
although fights have good rewards for 
winning, they're soul-destroying when 
you lose! The only way to be dead for 
doing something silly is if you carry the 
uranium around with you, ignoring the 
messages about how tired you feel. 



Since players with more points tend to 
be more popular targets for those with an 
urge to kill, they have better attributes than 
those they started with. MUD generates a 
random set of characteristics for you 
when you start — your "persona". These 
are strength, stamina and dexterity. The 
other Dungeons & Dragons abilities are up 
to you, so if you're thick in real life you'll 
be thick in the game. The abilities are used 
mainly in fights, where stamina is how 
much damage you can take, strength 
determines how much damage you do 
when you hit, and dexterity is your chance 
of hitting. They crop up in other places 
too; for example dexterity is used to see if 



ONE OF the features of MUD is that if 
you type LOG at it, it copies all output 
to a file so you can peruse it later at your 
leisure. Hours of endless amusement can 
be had by looking at other people's 
LOG files which they have left lying 
around. 

Consider the plight of two of our very 
first externals, who played from the 
USA back in 1980. One of them had 
been in before, but his friend hadn't, 
and fortunately for us thought you had 
to LOG into the game to play. This 
meant all his activities were recorded for 
posterity, unbeknown to him. 

Also in the game was Niatram, one of 




the system operators (who can't spell his 
name backwards). He decided to loom 
up on this second character, follow him 
around a bit, then kill him. This he 
repeated several times, gaining plenty of 
points in the process. Finally, the 
newcomer was at his wits' end. 

"Who's this Niatram character?" he 
asked his friend. "He keeps following 
me around and killing me!". "Yes, he's 
done that to me before", came the 
reply, "I think he may be dungeon 
generated!" At this point Niatram 
appeared, and out of despair his victim 
quit, rather than be killed yet again by 



this "artificial person". 



_ _____ 








you manage to steal from another player 
successfully. 

This is the near future I'm describing. 
There's nothing technologically com- 
plicated about it, since MUD has been up 
and running for the past four years on the 
University's machine. In order to get you 
all used to the idea, and give you a taste 
for the Things to Come, I'll be doing a 
semi-regular column here devoted to 
MUD and the Adventure games you'll be 
playing in five years' time. 

For the next few months, I'll be using 
the pages of this illustrious magazine (well 
they pay me to write this so they must be 
illustrious!) to talk about MUD and how 
it's developing. I'll keep you up to date 
with how the commercial version of the 
game is getting on, and some of the 
improvements which will be incorporated 
into it. I'll introduce you to some of the 
characters who play the game at the 
moment, or have done in the past, and 
what's gone on in the game since I last 
wrote. Hints and tips will leak out from 
time to time to keep you all interested for 
when you ever get to play yourself, plus 
some insight into the strange tongue which 
MUD players use when they converse with 
one another. □ 

Details of how to access MUD can be 
obtained by writing to Richard Bartle, 
Department of Computer Science, Essex 
University, Colchester, Essex, C04 3SQ. 



You are in a well-lit room, an emporium of some sort. 
Is this the place of which the old man spoke? For there, 
on the shelf in front of you, is the object of your quest, 
the fabled tome wherein the greatest products of the 
imagination can be found. You "have the magic one pound 
note in your hand. You know what you must do. 

Your command: GET IMAGINE™ MAGAZINE 







magazine 



A monthly publication for all players of adventure games. 
With a complete role-playing game scenario in every issue, plus a complete 
service of news, reviews, personal comment and feature articles. 



Only £1 Available on the fourth Thursday 



of every month. 



IMAGINE magazine — available from all leading newsagents and games shops, or write to: 



IMAGINE magazine (sales). 
The Mill. 
Rathmore Road, 
CAMBRIDGE CB1 4AD. 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 25 






dventures 





Trek through the land of Zork with Barry Miles 



INFOCOM ADVENTURES are a special 
breed, and have become a real cult in the 
United States. Three of Infocom's games, 
Zork I, Zork II and Zork III have 
generated so much interest that they have 
been published as game books. 



.if 




In addition, Zork addicts may buy a 
whole host of aids to assist them in their 
exploration of the Underground Kingdom. 
These range from maps onward. (We are 
seeing the beginnings of this in the United 
Kingdom, with Melbourne House 
publishing a book on how to win at The 
Hobbit). 

If you are a bit jaded with ordinary run- 
of-the-mill verbal adventures, then 
Infocom is for you. The sophistication of 
the messages you receive, and the very 
advanced way in which you communicate 
with the programs is what makes them 
different. 

None of these games make any use of 
graphics at all. Some addicts of arcade 
adventures will find this boring, but those 
who find it boring to wait while pictures, 
however interesting, are drawn, will feei 
otherwise! It all depends if you prefer 
pictures or words, but if you would rather 
spend your time reading a novel than 
watching its television adaptation, then 
Infocom games could be just your thing. 
Commodore clearly believe that price has 
previously deterred a wide range of 



potential customers from buying these 
games, and they have reduced the prices 

drastically. 

The Zork Trilogy is best sampled in 
sequence. Zork I is an intermediate 
adventurer's game, Zork II caters for the 
intermediate to advanced player, and Zork 
III is for the advanced to postgraduate 
adventurer. As with solving crossword 
puzzles, you eventually start to see inside 
the mind of the adventure author. Conse- 
quently, game-lore picked up at the easier 
levels of playing can be invaluable at the 
higher levels. 

In Zork I, The Great Underground 
Empire, you soon find yourself in a vast 
subterranean labyrinth, always supposing 



Your greatest challenge 
lies ahead- and downwards 




software is concerned. However, playing an 
adventure is often a long drawn out affair, 
and certainly where Infocom is concerned, 
a highly thoughtful process. You will there- 
fore spend a considerable length of time 
playing the game. As a result, you will 
appreciate the steps which have been taken 
to make life easier for you. 

First you have the advantage of the way 
in which Zork can understand full 
sentences. You are able to converse with the 
program in a higher level language than is 
usual in such games, and so "Take all but 
the lamp" or "Drop all but the candle" will 
be understood. 

Only the first six letters of any word are 
paid attention to by the game, and you can 




Two of the Zork game books from Puffin 
your tour round the house is thorough 
enough to discover the window which is 
ajar. Previously, you are likely to have been 
told that all windows are closed! However, 
these are magic circumstances, and in any 
case, events occur, as time passes, don't 
they? 

As usual, you are after treasure to gain 
points, and are impeded in your progress by 
various unfriendly beings. The labyrinth 
(which you will need to map as you travel) 
contains bits of written information, and 
various vehicles for visiting inaccessible and 
inhospitable areas, plus sundry weapons 
and containers of limited capacity. 

It may seem strange to consider the 
subject of user-friendliness, where games 



use abbreviations for the sixteen commands 
available. Additionally, you can choose to 
reduce the amount of information given to 
you, by use of the "Brief" or "Superbrief" 
commands. A full description is obtained 
by typing "L" or LOOK. Alternatively, all 
future descriptions become full if you type 
"verbose". 




You can save the game at any point. 
Canny adventurers will do this when about 



) 



26 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



to embark on any potentially dangerous 
enterprise! 

You can also obtain a continuous 
printout of all screen displays. This will 
reduce note-taking to a minimum, and, as 
the game can be solved in a variety of ways, 
such a printout can be invaluable. 

Interest is maintained by your being able 
to find out your current score at any time! 
All in all a very good adventure for those 
with experience, but too complex for 
beginners. 




In Zork II, The Wizard of Frobozz, the 
plot thickens. You continue on your merry 
way, much as before, collecting treasures, 
and fighting off opponents. However, you 
now have a Wizard to contend with, who 
has a rather malicious sense of humour. He 
casts various spells on you, which impede 
your progress, and cause you to rely rather 
heavily on Zork's "WAIT" command. 
(This command enables you to cause time 
to pass, so that you may discover what 
happens). 

Since you suffer more trials and 
tribulations than in Zork I, you may find 
the medical report, (called up by the 



DIAGNOSE command) is invoked more 
frequently too! 

If coping with an old Wizard, somewhat 
absent-minded but nonetheless still 
effective spell-wise, is your scene, then 
Zork II should suit you. You also get to 
slay a dragon, and operate a large balloon, 
although not necessarily both at the same 
time! 

In Zork III, The Dungeon Master, you 
pit your wits against the big cheese himself. 
Before computers came on the scene 
Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts were 
at the mercy of the individual who took all 
the decisions which are nowadays taken by 
the computer — the Dungeon Master. In 
Zork III, you must find out what his 
devious purpose is. 

If you consider yourself to be a pretty 
slick adventurer, then you owe it to 
yourself to give at least one of these games 
a whirl. You may not win, but you are 
likely to be kept thoroughly amused along 
the way! 

Full marks to Commodore for bringing 
these games into the realms of the afford- 
able. □ 



The next step 
downward to danger. 





Adventures 




Zork I 




The Great Underground Empire 


Zork II 




The Wizard of Frobozz 


Zork III 


- 


The Dungeon Master 


Micro 


Commodore 64 


Format 


Disc 


Price 


£11.99 


Supplier 


Vicsoft, CBM UK 




Ltd, Weldon North 




Industrial Estate, 




Corby, Northants, 




NN17 1LU 



Commodore 64 iHl 
& BBC ' Model B' 3ft} 

TTqpvq nowyoucan > 

UOt?Xd JOIN IN THE FUN ) ^Jl^ 

OF KEVIN TOMS' No. 1 Football Game itfflB 

FOOTBALL MANAGER 



Football Manager 

Designed by Kevin Toms 

This outstanding game of 
skill and strategy is 
now widely available 
and you can join the 
many thousands of 
satisfied customers 
who have purchased 
the game. 

Some of the features of the game: 

• Matches in 3D graphics • Transfer 
market • Promotion and relegation 

• F.A. Cup matches • Injury problems 

• Full league tables • Four Divisions 

• Pick your own team for each match 

• As many seasons as you like 
• Managerial rating • 7 skill levels 

J • Save game facility 

^ddictire 



Available from computer software 
sto ckist s nationwide, including 




Action from the game 



£7.95 
£7.95 
£6.95 
£5.95 



Prices: BBC Model B 

Commodore 64 
Spectrum 48K 
ZX81 16K 

(N.B. 3D GRAPHICS ARE NOT 

INCLUDED IN THE ZX8 1 VERSION) 

Overseas orders add £ 1 .50 

Strategy Game of the Year, 1983 

{Nominated) 

Golden Joystick Awards 



To order by mail (p&p free) send 
cheques or postal order to: 




DUCKWORTH 
HOME COMPUTING 



THE ADVENTURER'S COMPANION 

Mike and Peter Gerrard 
How do I survive the pale bulbous eyes? How do I get past the troll? Where is 
the Pirate's Chest? How do I escape the Goblin's Dungeon? 

In response to these and hundreds of other questions sent in to magazines by 
frustrated adventurers, here is a complete guide to playing four of the most 
popular adventures on home micros today: The Hobbit, Colossal Cave 
Adventure, AdventureJand and Pirate Adventure. The book provides a 
solution to every problem you will meet, and is designed to enable you to 
look up the answer without giving away anything of the rest of the adventure. 
It also includes complete maps for all four adventures. £3.95 

THE ADVENTURER'S NOTEBOOK 

Mike Gerrard 

This book is for both beginners and regular adventure players. It explains 
what an adventure game is, gives a history of adventure games, includes hints 
on how to play games more successfully and a list of recommended adven- 
tures. The main part of the book consists of a series of maps with space for 
your notes on verbs, nouns, locations, how to pass obstacles - everything the 
keen adventurer needs in order to keep all those scribbled sheets and notes 
together in one book. £3.95 

Mike and Peter Gerrard are regular contributors to Which Micro? and 
Personal Computer News. Peter Gerrard is the author of many titles in the 
Duckworth Home Computing list, including the Exploring Adventures series, 
and contributes to Popular Computing Weekly, Commodore Horizons and 
Micro Adventurer. 



Addictive Games 

7A RICHMONDHILL.BOURNEMOUTH BH2 6HE 




DUCKWORTH 

The Old Piano Factory, 43 Gloucester Crescent, London NW1 7DY 

Tel: 01-485 3484 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 27 




dventure 
brought 





book 



John Fraser leafs through a 

selection of books on how to 
design your own adventures. 
Next month sees the start of 
a regular book review 
section, covering computer 
books, game books, and 
related topics. 

DESPITE the growing popularity of 
commercial adventures, many enthusiasts 
prefer to draw on the worlds of their own 
imagination, rather than someone else's. 
But, sometimes, the sheer size and 
complexity of the task is enough to deter 
them altogether, with the result that they 
never progress beyond playing prepackaged 
scenarios. 

If you happen to be one of these 
frustrated adventurers, there is no longer 
any need to despair, because now 
experienced programmers have recognised 
your plight and set down on paper their 
accumulated wisdom with the express aim 
of teaching you the art. 

It must be said, however, that this wealth 
of literature on how to write your own 
wonderful mind-bending adventures, is not 
going to solve your problems overnight. 
Furthermore, the very concept of such 
books raises a number of questions which 
ought to be considered before you unplug 
your micro and rush into the nearest branch 
of W H Smith. 



Firstly, there is nothing quite so tedious 
as being hunched over a keyboard 
(particularly the Spectrum's) for several 
hours in an attempt to translate your 
brilliant idea into seemingly endless screen- 
ful of code. Unless you can afford an 
adventure-generating program such as The 
Quill or Dungeon Builder, that's exactly 
what you are in for — and not even the 
books will remove that drudgery. 

Not surprisingly, few adventure 
enthusiasts write a game just for something 
to do on a rainy afternoon. Generally, the 
motivation is at least partly financial: the 
thought of earning a living from one's 
hobby, perhaps even of tax havens or a 
yacht in the Mediterranean. Whatever your 
ultimate ambition, do not be misled by 
those blurbs which promise that "you'll 
soon be creating magnificent games of your 
own." No book can teach you to do that, 
but what they can provide you with are the 
necessary techniques and concepts; the rest 
depends on the power of your own 



imagination. 



Creating 

ADVENTURE x 

Programs On Your Computer 




"A range of 
books to suit 
most tastes" 



Secondly, the programming techniques 
used in writing adventures are much the 
same as those used in writing other 
programs. Once you know how to input 
data into an array, manipulate strings and 
so on, you will be well on the way to being 
able to write one. On the other hand, if 
such things only induce anxiety, you would 
do better to buy one of the numerous intro- 
ductory books available and get to grips 
with the fundamentals of Basic first. 

Finally, ask yourself what you really 
want a book for, because if it's just to key 
in someone elses listing, you'll have a pretty 
good idea of how to solve the game before 
you even run it. Almost certainly, it will 
take you much less time to solve than it did 
to key in, which makes all those hours of 
toil seem rather pointless. 

After what I've written so far, you may 
have reached the conclusion that all these 
hefty volumes crammed with unbelievably 
long listings are nothing more than 
publishing gimmicks created to enlarge the 
bank accounts of struggling authors and 
publishers. Well, this is not entirely true; 



there is a range of books to suit most tastes, 
and some are genuinely useful. 

Most of these titles follow an almost 
identical pattern: explanation, historical 
introduction, worked example. They differ 
widely, however, in the amount of inform- 
ation they contain and the number and type 
(i.e. text or graphic) of adventures which 
they describe. Some offer several listings 
for each micro; others offer several 
versions of the same listing; and a few even 
fail to specify which machine was used to 
produce them. Hopefully, by the time 
you've read this article, you'll be in a better 
position to decide which is the book for you 
— or even whether you need one at all. 

To begin with, let's examine a couple of 
books which are not machine-specific, but 
which nevertheless contain listings that can 
easily be adapted for the Spectrum. The 
first of these makes a radical departure 
from the standard format. 

Andrew Nelson's Creating Adventure 
Programs on your Computer is — or so the 
blurb proclaims — "another great book 
from Interface Publications." Instead of 
beginning with the usual explanation of 
what an adventure game is and how they 
developed, it launches straight into a mini- 
adventure similar to those in Penguin's 
Fighting Fantasy Gamebook series; this is 
then used as the author's first computer 
adventure. 

Unfortunately, my copy of the book 
appears to have met with a disaster in the 
printing works, and sorting out the text is 
itself something of an adventure. However, 

no one else seems to have had the same 
problem. Interface first published the book 
in October 1983, and have received no other 
complaints about it. 

Sophistication 

For all that, the book is quite useful. 
Andrew Nelson has provided three games 
of increasing sophistication, with both a 
basic and an elaborated version of the first 
offering, Werewolves and Wanderers. He's 
also generously included a print-out of the 
screen displays which shows you what the 
game is like actually running. Only Were- 
wolves and Wanderers is described in any 
detail, although this doesn't matter very 
much as the second game, a space 
adventure, demonstrates how it can be used 
as the foundation for totally different 
scenarios, without having to start from 
scratch. All you do is load the first game 
and work through the listing, changing the 
lines where appropriate. 



28 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



— 



I 




THE COMPUTER & VIDEO GAMES nmwm 



BOOK OF 
ADVENTURE 




toy KEITH CAMPBELL 

With listings for: 
SPECTRUM, COMMODORE 64 
and BBC 

Foreworcl by Scot! Adams 



The final game consists of over forty 
locations and demands rather more brawn 
than brain, as there's plenty of monster 
bashing. Despite this limitation, and a 
small vocabulary, you are able to control 
your attributes and so the game is not the 
same every time you play it. 



"A matter 
of personal 
preference" 



There are also helpful appendices, 
including a character name generator, a 
section on further reading, and a list of 
games manufacturers and distributors. 
Chapter 21 (which, incidentally, has been 
printed twice) offers suggestions for 
enhancing the appeal of your games and, 
though brief, gives some advice worth 
considering. 

As far as I can discover, the book makes 
no mention of which machine was used to 
produce the listings, but converting them 
for the Spectrum should be no problem. 

At least with Keith Campbell's Computer 
and Video Games Book of Adventure you 
don't get lost trying to sort out the pages. 
It's a well produced and readable book, but 
because it's not machine-specific it may 
well cause some annoyance to those who 
want value for money — and who doesn't 
these days? 

Only one game is described, and there are 
listings for the BBC, Spectrum and 
Commodore 64. This means, inevitably, 
that if you only have one machine much of 
the book will be of no use to you. Add to 
that the demonstration program which was 
written on a TRS 80 and the conversion 
notes, and you may well be disappointed. 

According to no less an authority than 
Scott Adams, who has written the 



foreword, the book contains "a wonderful 
recipe for baking your own adventures." 
Maybe so, but I expect some readers 
willtake that with a pinch of magic potion. 
It's one thing to have the right ingrediants, 
but quite an other to turn those ingrediants 
into a commercial product. 

The game itself is notably lacking in 
complexity. With only ten locations it 
nowhere near matches the scale of those in 
some of the other books reviewed here. 
Nevertheless, it's likely to appear rather less 
daunting to the newcomer and the text is 
clearly written, with each stage of the 
programming covered in easily digested 
portions. 

Most Spectrum users, however, will 
naturally want a book that is machine 
specific, and there are three which can be 
recommended. Which is the better book is 
really a matter of personal preference, how 
familiar you are with Basic, whether you 
like text or graphic adventures, and what 
your expectations are. 

Of the three, one stands out as being 
more of a collection of listings to key in 
and run. In fact Creating Adventure Pro- 
grams on the ZX Spectrum, written by 
those teenage whizz-kids Peter Shaw and 
James Mortleman, offers no less than 
seven adventures for £4.95. The first half 
of the book looks at the necessary tech- 
niques — creating locations, adding 
graphics and so on — but the explanations 
are minimal, which is no bad thing as 
you're likely to learn more by following a 
listing through to see how it works. 

One book which covers both text and 
graphic adventures is Noel Williams' Invent 
and Write Games Programs for the 
Spectrum. Although the word adventure 
appears nowhere in the title, adventures are 
the author's main concern, and he provides 
three examples, together with many more 
useful routines. The first game, The Throne 
of Camelot, is a traditional puzzle 
adventure with over sixty locations. Then 
there is The Mines of Merlin, a role playing 
type game in which your attributes and 
possessions are continually updated as you 



Creating jj 

ADVENTURE 

Programs on the 

ZX SPECTRUM 





battle with monsters and wander through 
dark caverns. Finally, in Treasure Trove, 
you use the cursor keys to manoeuvre a 
little man around the screen to pick up 
jewels before your time runs out. The 
adventure element of the last program is 
debatable, but the game is thoroughly 
explained and illustrates techniques for 
those who wish to incorporate arcade 



action intc 



auvc 



/ 6 



Appeal 
to the 
uninitiated" 



Noel Williams has done his best to cater 
for every interest. He can't obviously 
devote an equal amount of space to every- 
thing, so you don't get a highly elaborate 
graphic adventure, for instance. Even so, 
the book is remarkably comprehensive and 
will no doubt gain a wide readership not 
only among adventurers, but also among 
those interested in other games who 
recognise the universal value of the 
techniques used. 

The final book reviewed is perhaps the 
one most likely to appeal to the uninitiated, 
even though the author (if we are to believe 
his introductory remarks) does have to 
sustain himself with large quantities of 
alcohol when playing adventures! 

Peter Gerrard's Exploring Adventures on 
the Spectrum 48K contains three text 
adventures which only accept simple verb- 
noun inputs, but are nevertheless far more 
substantial offerings than those in similar 
books. One of the games, Underground 
Adventure, contains no less than one 
hundred locations and is fully explained, 
section by section. Only the listings are 
presented for the other two, but if you have 
followed Underground Adventure, this 
should be no handicap. ► 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 29 






IN OUR 

STRATEGY 
PENTATHL 



ON 



All available for Spectrum 48K at £5.95. ^ 
Selected titles available from larger branches of Boots, Greens, 
John Lewis Partnership, Rumbelows, W. H. Smith and all good 
computer shops or mail order from 

Cases Computer Simulations Ltd*, 14 Langton Way, 

London SE3 7TL. kUj I REJ 1 1 




30 Micro Adventurer September 1984 





EXPLORING 1 
ADVENTURES 

on the Spectrum 48K 



ill 




•4 Like other authors, Peter Gerrard begins 
with a general introduction which includes 
the obligatory history lesson and advice on 
solving adventures. Before launching into 
his main example, he also discusses each of 
the commands for handling data and 



strings, then leads you gently into the 
necessary adventure routines. 

"Transported 

via the 
printed word" 



For timid adventurers this is probably the 
most accessible book. You don't have to 
sift through repeated pages or commands 
which bear no relation to what is on your 
keyboard. And, for anyone who should 
happen to lose his way in the text, there is 
an index. Surprisingly, none of the other 
books possess one; a trivial point, perhaps, 
but when you're searching for ages for a 



particular routine it does relieve a good deal 
of frustration. 

These are by no means all the books that 
cater for Spectrum adventurers. Others 
have appeared and more will certainly 
follow, as publishers endeavour to capture 
a share of this increasingly profitable 
market. Whatever your interest — text or 
graphics, physical combat or problem- 
solving, hostile alien environments or the 
familiar streets of your home town — the 
books will certainly help in translating your 
own scenarios into working programs. 

Whether your results will be original and 
exciting enough to compete in the 
commercial arena and bring you financial 
rewards is another matter. But if you are 
seeking a challenge why not settle down, 
alone, and be transported, via the printed 
word, into the fascinating world of 
adventures. □ 



Book The Computer and Video Games Book of Adventure Author Keith 
Campbell Publisher Melbourne House Price £5.95 
Book Exploring Adventures on the Spectrum 48K Author Peter Gerrard 
Publisher Duckworth Price £6.95 

Book Creating Adventure Programs on your Computer Author Andrew Nelson 
Publisher Interface Price £4.95 

Book Creating Adventure Programs on the ZX Spectrum Authors Peter Shaw- 
James Mortleman Publisher Interface Price £4.95 

Book Invent and Write Games Programs for the ZX Spectrum Author Noel 
Williams Publisher McGraw-Hill Price £6.95 





ARE YOU READY FOR 
THE PBM CHALLENGE? 

Everybody's a king to his home computer. But are 
you ready to take the ultimate challenge of multi- 
player play-by-mail (PBM) games, controlled by 
programs far larger and more sophisticated than 
most home systems can handle? Games for 10 
players. Games for 1 50 players. Battling for the fate 
of galaxies. Exploring strange, intricately- 
constructed worlds. Rising to power through alien 
political systems. Arguing, double-dealing, fighting 
your way to victory. 

FLAGSHIP magazine introduces you to Britain's 
fastest-growing hobby, with coverage of every 
computer-moderated game and amazing discounts 
for new games, worth over £10 in every issue! If 
you'd like to find out more, send £6 for 4 issues (or 
£1 .75 for a sample issue) to: 

FLAGSHIP (Dept MA), PO Box 12, 
Aldridge, Walsall, West Midlands 
WS9 OTJ. 






Games Workshop 
Unit 37, Birmingham Shopping Centre 
Birmingham B2. Tel: (021) 632 4804 
Open Mon Sat 9. 30am-5.50pm 



Games Workshop 
162 Marsden Way, Arndale Centre, 
Manchester. Tel: (061) 832 6863 
Open Mon Sat 9.00am-5.30pm 



Games Workshop 
1 Dalling Road, Hammersmith W6 
(Nearest tube station Ravenscourt Park) 
Tel: 01-741 3445 
Open Mon Sat 9 30am 5.30pm 
Late night opening Thurs till 7.30pm 



Games Workshop 
41a Broad walk, Broad marsh Centre, 
Nottingham. Tel: (0602) 585744 
Open Mon Sat 9 30am 5.30pm 



Games Workshop 
95 The Moor, Sheffield, 
Tel: (0742) 750114 
Open Mon- Sat 9.30am 5.30pm 

WHERE TO GO FOR THE BEST IN 
GAMES AND SOFTWARE 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 31 



Family 
fantasy 



Game Talisman Price £7.95 
Format Board Game Publisher 
Games Workshop 
TALISMAN is the latest 
product of Games Workshop's 
campaign to repackage fantasy 
role playing games for every 
possible market. This time the 
target is the casual board 
games player drawn to the 
fantasy element in D & D but 
intimidated by anything more 
complex than Monopoly. 
Rumour has it that GW 
intended to launch it as a 
computer game next. 

Indeed, Talisman has a lot 
of the usual features of those 
'family' games. The board is 
split into three concentric 
rings, each of which is divided 
into segments, round which the 
players usually move by rolling 
a die. Encounters are 
determined by adventure 
cards, which are picked up 
according to which square the 
player lands on. The element 
of role-playing is introduced 
by offering the players the 
choice of eleven traditional D 
& D type characters to choose 
from, the individual character- 
istics of which are laid out on 
cards. 

Players win by moving 




through the increasingly 
dangerous rings to the centre 
of the board, from where they 
cast spells which, very slowly, 



kill their opponents off. Before 
they are able to make this 
move, they must build up the 
strength and magic ability of 




their characters, and acquire 
spells, followers, and 
possessions, all of which are 
represented by cards or little 
bits of cardboard. 

The game is very well 
produced: brightly coloured 
and hard wearing. The 
characters are well-balanced, 
but sufficiently different from 
each other to allow a great deal 
of variety and the cards and 
board provide an interesting 
selection of events. 

Unfortunately, the attempt 
to reach the family has lead to 
problems. The rules are very 
brief for this kind of game, 
and there are several 
ambiguities. The players have 
to work out how to use the 
cards from skimpy and vague 
descriptions given on them. 
The rules do not adequately 
explain what to do with the 
face up cards on the boards. 
Indeed, it is the cards that are 
one of the chief problems. 
They rapidly litter the board, 
obscuring the already barely 
legible instructions on the 
squares, and clogging up the 
play. Furthermore, the various 
adventure, spell, and possess- 
ion cards must be divided into 
fifteen separate piles before 
play can start. During the 
game players may have as 
many as a dozen cards in front 
of them which must all be 
visible. 

In addition to these 
mechanical problems the game 
is tedious. There is very little 



Dallas 



death and double-dealing 



Chris Harvey, owner of play by mail company ICBM, reports from Origins 84, the premier US games 

convention, which was held in Dallas this year. 



ORIGINS, the major games convention 
in the USA, is about as unlike any UK 
games convention as one can imagine. 
Several thousand people wander quietly 
for four days around 100 dealer stands, 
and generally take their time about 
playing an awful lot of games. At its 
busiest, the dealer area looks more like a 
wet Monday afternoon in a small super- 
market, than the condensed mass 
scrimmage we have come to expect from 
Britain's Games Day. 

This year little happened. Few new 
games were released, in sharp contrast 
with 1983 in Detroit. Most games 
companies have decided that a mass 
release of games at one convention does 
NOT help sales, and thus about the only 
item of interest was Steve Jackson's 
Globbo. Certainly, all the major 
companies were representd (even TSR) 
but although the games on show were 



varied in quality and subject, the vast 
majority were already on sale across the 
USA when the convention began. 




Chris 

Harvey 

of 

ICBM 



The real fun to be found in Dallas was 
in playing the games. A shuttle bus 
service (essential in 1 00° heat) fed 
players from the convention Hall 
through two main hotels. Fantasy freaks 
were based in the Holiday Inn (which 
might have accounted for the fact that 



the fire alarms were set off two nights 
running) whereas the more staid, and 
generally older, wargames contingent 
huddled together in the Regent, a hotel 
that can be recommended only for 
losing all electrical power on Saturday 
night, and for double booking the Bridal 
suite. 

All facets of the gaming hobby 
seemed to get down to business quickly. 
The Monster Wargames Society ran 
several three day long games, dozens of 
seminars were held all over the site 
(some even on time and in the right 
rooms), and the open gaming sections 
continued in operation all day which is 
more than can be said for the lifts. 

American gamers seem to be older in 
general and more serious about their 
hobby, but for concentrated game 
playing you would have to go a long way 
to find a bigger event. 



32 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



micro 




player interaction, and the 
game ends with a whimper. 
The player who reaches the 
centre can cast spells each turn, 
depriving the other players of 
one life each a turn. Since they 
might have a dozen lives, plus 
neutralising and healing spells, 
this can take a very long time. 
This raises a final problem, 
one which may scare off the 
happy family after one game: 
Talisman takes much longer 
than the recommended one 
hour to play. PGB 

Auto 
destruct 

Game Battlecars Format 
Board Game Price £6.95 
Publisher Games Workshop 
Game Battlebikes Format 
Board Game Price £4.95 
Publisher Games Workshop 
BATTLECARS is an attempt 
to sell wargames to the casual 
buyer. Ian Livingstone's 
design is obviously inspired by 
Car Wars, published by Steve 



Jackson Games in the States. 
Car Wars, in turn, owes a great 
deal to the movie Mad Max. 

It should be made clear that 
there are two Steve Jacksons, 
one of Games Workshop and 
the other a native of the States. 
They are in no way related. 
Common usage these days is to 
indicate which is which by 
putting (US) or (UK) after 
their names. 

The winner in Battlecars is 
the player whose driver is the 
last one left alive. Unlike Car 
Wars the players don't design 
their own cars, instead 
selecting from several pre- 
designed vehicles with slightly 
differing speed, maneuovr- 
ability, and defensive and 
weapon capabilities. 

Also unlike Car Wars move- 
ment is not simultaneous. This 
is one of the most serious flaws 
in the game. The player who 
moves first can accelerate to 
full speed, knowing the other 
cars will not move before a 
damaging side or rear ram can 
be engineered. If the 
maneouvre is executed 
correctly, a player can also 
launch missiles at point blank 



Acommendably 
strong plot and a 
pot full of puzzles' 
— BIGK 

'Full marks' 

-C&VG 

'100% -the best I 
have ever 
reviewed' 

-PCT 



fit pi 



* m 





See 



A9 



A VIDEO RECORDER 



WHEN YOU BECOME BRITAINS' 

'BEST ADVENTURER' 



|{ET is a strife torn land which has never known 
peace. Particularly vicious attacks from beyond the 
mountains now threaten its very existence and the Lords of 
Ket look upon you as their only hope ... 

Each episode of the Ket Trilogy hides a short part of a 
sentence that is only revealed on completing the adventure. 
Having come to the end of this mammoth 120K challenge, the 
first person to discover the complete message will be awarded 
a video recorder of their own choice (up to value of £400) and 
the coveted award BRITAINS BEST ADVENTURER. 



range just before the ram. It is 
possible in this way to 
eliminate opponents before 
they have fired a shot. 

The immense destructive 
potential of the weapons 
means the suggested playing 
time of one to two hours is 
highly fanciful. A healthy 
aggressive approach will 
usually lead to very short 
games. 

For fans of intense violence 
the game is great fun, but the 
lack of scope for tactical 
innovation means it rapidly 



ceases to be interesting. 

Like most Games Workshop 
games, Battlecars is attrac- 
tively designed and solidly con- 
structed. The rules, however, 
manifest the equally common 
GW habit of sacrificing clarity 
for brevity. 

Battlecars and Battlebikes 
will soon, we are told, be 
available for the home 
computer. It will be interesting 
to see how much the board 
version can be improved on for 
that medium. PGB 



Who are 
the Lords of Midnight? 



THIS MONTH, in a 
special mini competition, 
Micro Adventurer offers 
readers a chance to win 
nine free turns in Starlord, 
the Play-By-Mail game 
run by Lords of Midnight 
author Mike Singleton. 
The questions are: 

lels in 




the Land of Midnight. 

2 Name all the Lords of 
the Free. 

3 There are at least four 
ways to destroy the Ice 
Crown. 

What are they? 

The first all correct answer 
received will win. 




-* * ^ -. 





A stimulating 
adventure' 

— SINCLAIR 
CISER 

'Heartly 

recommended' 
-CRASH 

Very professional 
...a very polished 
adventure' 

-PCW 




ADVANCE ORDERS We are now taking orders for the FINAL 
MISSION which will arrive on the day of release - 19th September 
Alternatively you can order your copy through your local retailer. 
PLEASE NOTE Each of the Trilogy is a COMPLETE ADVENTURE IN 
ITSELF which can be played totally independently of the other two. 
REGISTERED OFFICE 54 London Street Reading RG1 4SQ. 
CREDIT CARD ORDERS Telephonedirect (0734) 591678. 



ORDER FORM THE KEY TRILOGY Also available: 

ZX SPECTRUM 48K Mountains of Ket □ 1984- Government 
£5.50 each (incl.P&P) Temple of Vran □ Management □ 
The Final Mission □ Millionaire □ Splat □ 



Please send me the titles as indicated, by 1 st class post. 

I enclose cheque f or £ or debit my credit card. 

&?SS,d v £ D i i i i i i i 

Name/address 




| INCENTIVE SOFTWARE LTD, 54 London Street. Reading RG1 4SQ. England 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 33 



Big 
brother 



Adventure 1984 A Game of 
Government Management 
Micros BBC B, Spectrum 48K 
Price £6.50, £5.50 Format 
Cassette Supplier Incentive 
Software Ltd. , 54 London 
Street, Reading, Berkshire. 
EVER THOUGHT you could 
do better than politicians 
you've seen? Now's your 
chance. You, with no effort on 
your part, suddenly become 
the Prime Minister of the UK. 
Then you have to keep the job. 
Supplied to help you do this is 
The Pocket Guide to Running 
Britain', a 14 page cassette- 
sized leaflet, containing all 
manner of useful info. 

There is very little in this 
game that is randomly 
determined. Each simulation 
starts with the actual 1984 
figures, and the books balance, 
so all you have to do is keep 
them balanced. Easy enough. 
Wrong. Apart from taxes, 
benefits and so on you have to 
cope with wage rises, interest 
rates, grants, banking and just 
about everything else. As well 
as being the PM, you have to 
do the jobs of the rest of the 
government. 

Playing 1984 is very easy, 
succeeding is not. You can't 
make too much of a mess 
straight away, because most of 
the inputs have limits, and you 
will be told when you exceed 
these. Each year the major 
indicators, such as inflation, 
unemployment and exchange 
rate are shown, and graphs can 
be displayed illustrating their 
ups and downs over your term 
of office. The program also 
shows how balanced the 




OF 



■ 

m 
v 






mi© 





What's on the way in the adventure world — if 
you have a new adventure, war game or real-life 
simulation which you are about to release send 
a copy and accompanying details to 
Software Inventory, Micro Adventurer, 
1213 Little Newport St, London WC2R 3LD 











i 



economy is. This is often your 
first indication of a dangerous 
instability. When the wage rise 
section comes round you only 
get one try at each employment 
sector. I think adding a chance 
of negotiation would be a good 
idea. 

A most effective feature is 
the occasional meeting of 
Parliament where you are 
asked to make rulings on 
various issues. The longer you 
stay in office, the harder it is to 
survive. This is due to the fact 
that minor imbalances can 
have quite widespread effects. 
I also find it harder to satisfy 
the unions over wage rises. 

1984 is probably a very 
realistic simulation, and is a 
fascinating insight into the 
economy. The program is 
neatly packaged, and very well 
presented. On the BBC 
version, with the exception of 
the title page, the program uses 
mode 7, with the only graphics 
being in the form of graphs. 
The sound effects are fairly 
simple, but become tiring after 
a while. There are many ways 
to be evicted from No. 10, 
from full-scale revolution to 
inept ministers. To stay in 
office, a lot of concentration 
and thought will be necessary. 

Can you win the general 
elections and make it to the 
21st century? 1984 is very 
compulsive. The first few times 
had me chucked out within a 
few years, or losing the 
election badly, but now Pve 
nearly got to 1999. If you like 
strategy - simulations, then 
this is a must. AT 

Previous 
Pettigrew 

Adventure Operation Safras 
Micro Dragon 32 Price £7.95 
Format Cassette Supplier 



Shards Software, Suite G, 
Roycraft House, 15 Linton 
Road, Barking, Essex. 
A REVIEWER in the July 
issue referred to Shards' 
Pettigrew's Diary as the third 
greatest computer adventure 
ever. I wouldn't even rate it in 
the top ten Dragon adventures, 
so what of the sequel that's 
actually a prequel, Operation 
Safras? 

It takes a similar format, 
being three separate sections, 
each one of which you must 
complete to progress to the 
next, with the middle one again 
being a kind of text adventure. 
The first chapter, though, The 
Awakening, is all about 
graphics and sound. It gives 
you a data file on Rupert 
James Pettigrew (which is you, 
so there should be no surprises 
there) and then follows a 
graphic description of the start 
to Pettigrew's day, as you walk 
to the tube station and descend 
in the lift. 

There your troubles begin, 
as the lift fills with water and 
you must work out which 
button to press to get yourself 
out. Then you are faced with a 
series of questions, testing 
your observation of what's 
been happening, and finally 
you are given the code for the 
second part of the adventure 
. . . though even the code is in 
code! Until you get that code, 
though, you will have to sit 
through four minutes of 
graphics at the start of this first 
section before you even get to 
touch the keyboard — as good 
as they are, four minutes is too 
long to sit through each and 
every time. 

The Searching sets Pettigrew 
on the loose in the UK, armed 
with a map, a list of towns you 
can visit, £500, and a most 
vital piece of equipment, the 
agent locator. You need this 
because five fellow agents are 
held captive somewhere in the 



UK, and these are indicated at 
the bottom of the screen, a 
cursor showing the nearest one 
to your location. Unfortu- 
nately there is also a number 
displayed beneath each, 
showing the hours remaining 
to them. Obviously you must 
set about tracking down the 
one with fewest hours left to 
him, which you do by 
collecting clues from 
characters you meet as you GO 
LIVERPOOL, GO ABER- 
DEEN and so on. Not easy at 
all, but nor did I find it 
particularly engrossing. 

The final section, like 
Pettigrew, is a collection of 
different challenges, eight this 
time. Again I found them a 
motley collection of little 
programs, too jumbled and 
disjointed to allow you any 
belief in the overall story of 
these adventures of Pettigrew. 
Axe-wielding giants in a 
modern day spy story? No, I 
can't say Pettigrew grew on 
me. MG 



Magic 
Moments 

Adventure The Sorcerers 
Apprentice Micro Commodore 
64 Price £6.99 Format Cassette 
Supplier Phoenix Software 
Ltd, Spangles House, 116 
Marsh Road, Pinner, 
Middlesex. 




Sorcerer'* 
apprentice 





SORCERER 'S APPREN- 
TICE is a double game, 
one program on each side of 
the tape. The first is an arcade 
game, which you must play at 
least until the end of the first 
level to get the password, 
which allows you to start the 
adventure game on the flip side 
of the tape. Magic, isn't it? 



34 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



The arcade game can be used 
with joystick or keyboard. The 
object of the game is to take 
the magician's place whilst he 
soaks up the Margate sun, and 
stop the magic brooms over- 
filling the reservoir by stealing 
their buckets of water. You 
may freeze all objects except 
yourself for four seconds by 
pressing the fire button. 

There are four levels, each 
with more of the same but 
faster and more plentiful, 
therefore harder to get 
through. At the end of each 
level you will find useful hints 
and clues for the adventure 
game. Completing the first 
level is essential to starting the 
adventure game as it reveals 
the secret password. 

Happily, it is not necessary 
to play the arcade game, as 
Phoenix supply a packet 
containing the password and 
several clues. Both games 
loaded without too many 
problems, although I did have 
to assist the adventure game 
somewhat — perhaps a duff 
tape! 

The aim of the adventure 
game is to travel through the 
wizard's kingdom in search of 
the 'throne of all knowledge'. 
In the finishing stages of the 
game you may need to draw on 
your knowledge of Roman 
mythology, or ask someone. If 
this isn't successful, then 
guess! But remember, guesses 
could have fatal results. 

Magic is a constant theme in 
this game, so be careful to find 
your spell book at the start of 
the game, and put spells that 
you find 'in' it. The commands 
are essentially the same as 
other adventure games with 
additions such as 'in book', 
which places a spell in your 
spell book after you have 
picked it up. The spell can then 
be read, and you get a clue to 
its effect. The game also 
accepts all of the abbreviations 
we have come to know and 
love in adventure classics. 

The game comes with an 
instruction leaflet which is 
good enough to get you 
started, but be sure to check 
everything you come across 
carefully as most locations are 
useful. You will also need good 
map keeping, as you will often 
be given advice that requires a 
great deal of back-tracking. At 
the start, don't be too hasty to 
move on; make sure you have 
collected all the available 
spells, and explored all 
locations within that area. 



Also save the game if you are 
not sure of which spell to use, 
and be sparing with the spells. 

Although not as exciting as 
Valhalla or The Hobbit, 
Sorcerer's Apprentice is an 
excellent adventure that should 
keep you entertained and frust- 
rated for some time. My 
Sunday was spent playing this 
game with much success, but I 
was always left wanting more. 
Excellent value for money and 
a professionally produced 
game. Have a look at the 
protection, it was good enough 
to keep me guessing for a 
while! KB 

Stranded 
Sid 



J5TRAMDJD 




Adventure Stranded Micro 
Commodore 64 Price £7.95 
Format Turbo tape Supplier 
English Software Company, 
Box 43, Manchester M60 3 AD. 
THE BIGGEST adventure in 
life at the moment seems to be 
England's attempts at wresting 
a victory from the hands of the 
West Indies, so I thought I'd 
try my hand at something 
slightly better than facing up to 
Joel Garner. Stranded, a 
graphical adventure for the 
Commodore 64 from the 
English Software Company, 
seemed as good a place to start 
as any. 

The game begins with you 
marooned on a strange planet. 
Your mission: to escape from 
the planet and return home 
safely. Your spaceshlip lies 
nearby, but it is unfortunately 
guarded by an evil-looking 
robot who is none too keen on 
your getting into it. You are in 
this somewhat strange position 



as you were mugged earlier on 
(while celebrating the 
completion of another 
succesful space epic) by some 
unknown intruders. 

This is not a brilliant game. 
The cassette cover boasts that 
the game has more than 35 
graphic screens: presumably 
this means 36. In defence of 
the graphics they are quite 
good, and do appear with 
satisfying speed when drawn, 
but they appear to have made 
the rest of the game suffer as a 
result of their being there. 
There are some surprising 
flaws in the logic of the 
program. 

After the usual bumbling 
around trying to find anything 
that might be vaguely useful, 
you should come across a fuel 
capsule, a lockpick, a laser 
rifle and a parachute. Armed 
with these, you can go on 
board the spaceship itself, 
since the robot guarding it is 
no more partial to laser rifles 
than you or I would be. Once 
there, the inconsistencies of the 



Adventure Ground Zero 
Micro Spectrum 48K Price 
£6.95 Format Cassette 
Supplier Artie Computing, 
Main Street, Brandesburton, 
Driffield, Y025 8RG 
PACK AWAY your wands, 
elixirs and double-handed 
enchanted swords and step into 
the less esoteric, and ultimately 
more frightening world of 
Artie's Ground Zero. Set not 
in Middle Earth, but in the 
very real world of nuclear 
Superpower conflict, you are 
Mr Average, residing in 'Dun- 
roamin', in quiet suburbia — 
except that the world is in a 
grave period of international 
tension, with the threat of a 
holocaust looming high. 

At the start of the 
adventure, you are placed in 
your semi in a lonely cul-de- 
sac. On switching on the TV, 
you break into a civil defence 
warning. The telephone rings 
to announce the loss of all 
services. On exploring the 
house and garden, you find 
various essential objects, such 
as keys, a knife, a mattress and 



program start to appear. No 
matter how many times you 
pick the lock of an airlock that 
bars your way, every time you 
leave it and come back to it 
again it has to be unlocked yet 
again. The robot can also be 
shot countless number of times 
without coming to any harm: 
curious beasts, these robots. 

From here on in is anyone's 
guess, as you get killed with 
startling frequency on board 
the ship: walking down a 
corridor with a warm glow in it 
has you being fried alive, going 
beyond an airlock has you 
thrown into outer space and 
dying. All these, and more, 
make this a deeply unsatisfying 
game. It doesn't even under- 
stand the word 'EXAMINE' 
(you have to use EXAM 
instead), and with the added 
restriction of just being able 
to use the VERB-NOUN 
format when entering your 
commands, this is not a game 
to come back to. 

On reflection, I'd prefer 
facing Joel Garner. PG 




an old door to construct a 
shelter against the blast with, 
and, in the kitchen cupboards, 
some food, but with the 
ominous label "a week's 
rations". The temptation is to 
sit around and wait for the 
worst, but, against the advice 
on the TV, I went out to 
explore the town, pausing only 
to restart the game after being 
trapped in the neighbour's 
garden. 



Apocalypse 
approaches 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 35 



Outside, the situation is 
grim, with riots in the High 
Street, hoarders queuing at the 
corner shop and trigger-happy 
soldiers guarding the motor- 
way. The atmosphere created 
by the program is first class, 
encouraging the player to 
feverishly type in commands 
before the bomb drops. This 
scene-setting is done with no 
graphics and fairly short 
descriptions. Technically, too, 
the game is of a high standard, 
with an instant response to 
input and a very large, and 
wittily used, vocabulary, 
although on most occasions it 
does only accept the traditional 
Verb-Noun format. Essen- 
tially, a save-game facility is 
provided. 

The object of the game is 
Protect and Survive, and, with 
the grim setting, it will provide 
quite a challenge to those tired 
of the more arcane adventure 
scenarios and has to be recom- 
mended. GW 



Do it with 
Diyad 

XII 



XI 



i 



X 

IX 

V 




II 
III 

IV 



VII 



VI 



V 



g>ofttoare 



DIYAD, from Timeless 
Software, tries to do for the 
TI99 what The Quill has done 
for the Spectrum. It allows you 
to create adventures by 
defining your own objects, 
locations and vocabulary, then 
inserting these into a base 
program which carries out all 
the complicated string- 
handling routines for you. 
Thus it should be possible to 
write your own adventure with 
little or no knowledge of 
programming. 

The program is not very easy 
to use; you must first set up a 
"File" by loading and running 
Side One of the cassette. This 



file is dumped to a blank tape, 
then loaded into side two of 
Diyad, which is the "Player" 
program. Considering the 
slowness of the TI99, this can 
be a very long process. 

Diyad adventures are 
defined in terms of places, 
things, verbs, and verb cases. 
Each place has a description 
and a number — home base is 
number one. Diyad also 
requires definitions of the 
Places reached by going North, 
South, East, West, Up and 
Down from each location. 
Places can also have attributes 
of light or darkness. 

Each verb defined is 
accompanied by one or more 
cases, which describe a set of 
conditions which have to be 
met and a set of preconditions. 
Things can start out a Place or 
can be created by a verb case. 

All the data to manipulate 
this information is stored in 
data strings, in a format 
calculated to make the most of 
the TI99's limited memory. 

Eleven verbs are pre-coded 
— Up, Down, N,S,E,W, Quit, 
Say, Go, Score and Look. The 
finished adventure thus 
operates in .the conventional 
manner, with two-word inputs. 
There is provision for allowing 
different words to satisfy the 
same function ("Kill" and 
"Destroy" for instance) The 
composer program generates 
error messages in certain cases, 
but it is quite possible to write 
an adventure which, due to 
some miscalculation like 
defining two objects with the 
same name, can fall into an 
endless loop. Fortunately the 
manual is helpful on possible 
programming problems. 

Diyad is a very worthy 
attempt to create an adventure 
generator for the TI99. 
Obviously you can't expect to 
see very user-friendly menu 
systems such as The Quill 
contains, nor the graphic 
facilities of Dream Software's 
Dungeon Builder, because the 
99' s memory is limited to 16K. 
It's unfortunate though that 
the Diyad manual gives the 
impression that the memory 
can be expanded, only to 
retract this in an addendum 
with the explanation that the 
Diyad program cannot access 
the extra memory in TI Basic. 

Diyad isn't easy to use, but 
it's a good attempt considering 
the limitations of the machine. 
Congratulations to Timeless 
Software for tackling a field 
which has previously been 
untouched. CJ 



SCORPIO SOFTWARE 



* ■- c 




Reggie's Ruby 



Adventure Ruby Runabout 
Micro Spectrum 48K Format 
Cassette Price £1.99 Supplier 
Scorpio Software, 147/155 
Corn Exchange Building, 
Manchester 4 

WITH a title like Ruby 
Runabout, you might have 
expected a fast arcade-style 
adventure along the lines of Jet 
Set Willy. In fact, what you get 
is a midly amusing text and 
graphic adventure of the more 
traditional kind — forty 
locations to explore, half of 
which have graphics, puzzles 
to solve and lots of objects to 
pick up and try and find a use 
for. 

You are Reggie the garage 
owner, who is desperate to 
own the world's most precious 
gem, the Rocksalmon Ruby. 
Your objective is to retrieve the 
ruby and take it home. But 
there's no time to lose, for if 
you delay you may find it has 
moved. 

To accomplish this task you 
have to avoid numerous 
hazards which may hinder 
your progress or even 
terminate it altogether. There 
are lots of red-herrings; in fact 
you are likely to spend most of 
your time trying to decide what 
on earth to do with the odd 
collection of objects in your 
possession. 

Some locations are also 
potentially dangerous to 
explore. On a few occasions 
your path is blocked by a 
person or an animal and 
excessive violence against 
either is not tolerated, so 
beware. 

Mapping is straightforward 
and the screen presentation is 
clear and simple, although the 



descriptions are minimal — 'a 
garage', 'a bridge' — while the 
inputs are of the basic verb- 
noun type. 

Unfortunately, there appear 
to be several strange anomalies 
in this game. For example, 
although the verb Might' is 
accepted, I can't find anything 
to light. And the request to 
'open door' merely brings the 
response, 'the key isn't in the 
door.' If it's not in the door, 
then where is it? 

One or two locations stand 
out as being rather out of place 
in this adventure, which 
generally takes place in 
familiar every day places. Take 
the oil rig, for instance. How 
many of those do you see when 
walking down the street? Then 
there is the bridge, which the 
screen shows as nothing but a 
black rectangle. 

For me, though, the most 
infuriating feature of the game 
is the inadequate help facility. 
This is extremely short on 
replies, some of which are 
obvious if you've read the 
documentation, while others 
don't provide any clues other 
than telling you what you are 
trying to do already. One 
response simply says 'I'm as 
lost as you are', which may be 
funny once, but becomes 
tiresome after half a dozen 
times. 

Despite these criticisms, the 
game offers a challenge which 
should keep players busy for 
hours. Even though I've 
examined and tried to pick up, 
open and light just about 
everything possible, I've still 
only scored 30%. So now I sit 
and think, wondering how to 
grasp that elusive ruby...JF 



36 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



Not all bugs 
are ants 



Adventure Four Gates to Free- 
dom Micro Vic 20 16K Format 
Cassette Supplier Phoenix 
Software, 116 Marsh Road, 
Spangles House, Pinner, 
Middlesex. 

FOUR GA TES to Freedom is a 
two sided cassette, with an 
adventure on one side and an 
arcade game on the other. The 
idea of the arcade game is to 
destroy four gates on the other 
side of a wall, by blasting a 
hole with your laser base. 
Having done this, you obtain 
the running code that allows 
you to load the adventure and 
play that. In the event of the 
arcade game proving more 
than a match for your trigger 
finger, Phoenix supply a 
4 ' Phoenix Panic Packet", 
which contains the running 
code, as well as four clues for 



the four key parts of the 
adventure. 

First, a short word about the 
arcade game. As arcade games 
go, it went. The graphics are 
average Vic quality, but the 
speed the game runs at leaves 
you breathless. This game is a 
real killer, and I suspect that to 
actually crack it, and destroy 
four gates, takes a lot of 
practice. I never managed it 
and resorted to the panic 
packet to progress on to the 
adventure. On reflection, I 
shouldn't have bothered. 

The game requires 16K to 
load, and puts up an entirely 
unimpressive loader page 
whilst doing so. The first thing 
you have to do upon running is 
to enter the code, and then 
you've a typical text adven- 
ture. The year is 31 12; a Vegan 



star cruiser has been captured 
by the Warrior Ants of Xzinos, 
and all the scientists and crew 
are being held in suspended 
animation by the nefarious 
insects in catacombs. You have 
to destroy the four gates that 
bar your entrance to the cata- 
combs and rescue the 
unfortunate crew. 

All stirring stuff, designed to 
set the adrenaline pulsing 
round. Until you play the 
game. If there is one thing I 
hate, it is illogical adventure 
maps. This one apparently 
changes as you are playing it — 
either that, or the program 
mis-interprets commands. 

This, of course implies that 
the game has bugs. Do we have 
any evidence that the game 
does have bugs? You bet! Take 
the iron bar, for example. At 
one spot, your way is barred by 
an electric barrier. Enter 
'SHORT BARRIER', and the 
program says 'How?'. So I 
entered 'USE ROD' and the 
program said 'You can now 
cross the pit safely'. This left 
me extremely perplexed: What 
pit? So I proceeded across the 
barrier . . . and died. Next 
time I ran the game, the barrier 



was in a different place. And 
the map changed when I tried a 
different route. So throw away 
the pen and paper, guys. 

As for the rest of the game, 
it takes three letter directions 
(SOU NOR WES etc) and 
verbs such as GO, TAKE, 
USE, and even RE- 
ANIMATE, although I have 
never actually found a use for 
this one. There is the usual 
collection of riddles and 
puzzles, and the average quota 
of useful and useless objects. 

Great arcade game; pity 
about the adventure. SS 





*ki .<*>,>».. J i .. •J^'i- ^St, 

: : : : & -:: , :. ' -f * *. 




mm 



7 








built for two 



Adventure Galaxy's Edge 
Micro BBC B or two BBC Bs 
Price £7.95 Format Cassette 
Supplier Magic Software Inc, 
Elmswell, Bury St Edmunds, 
Suffolk 

GALAXY'S EDGE contains 
two games. The first, 
Discovery, is a standard text 
adventure. The second, 
however, is billed as the first 
game that can be played on 
two, linked, BBC micros 
simultaneously. 

The first game, Discovery, is 
a conventional text only 
adventure in which you are in 
command of the Scout Ship, 
'Orion'. Your mission is a test 
of your resources and ability. 

The Orion is controlled by a 
computer, enabling you to take 
off, go into Hyperspace, dock 
with other craft and land on 



various planets. There are 
some clearly described 
locations, and the" usual 
objects to collect and tasks to 
perform. 

Pegasus is the most hospit- 
able planet, with the greater 
number of objects to be found. 
Solaris has a hostile climate 
and is inhabited by some semi 
humanoid Aliens, which 
during my brief visit I only 
glimpsed but never met. Akrot 
is a barren ore producing 
satellite, and Manonis, I am 
afraid, I never did manage to 
visit, not for want of trying. 

This is a playable adventure 
with good use of the function 
keys for the mundane necessity 
of moving — getting — exam- 
ining — dropping — etc. You 
can have sound if you wish, 
which produces some inter- 



esting noises when taking off, 
firing the laser cannons and the 
hand gun. This feature should 
have been exploited far more 
in this game. 




Programmer Graham Nelson 

In my book, this adventure 
commits the cardinal sin — no 



Save -Restore facility. If you 
get zapped, which you will, 
then it's back to the start and 
begin all over again. After 
several attempts this just 
becomes a bore, and I do not 
understand why some Adven- 
ture programmers do not seem 
to realise that many of us play 
adventures like a book. We 
load and play for a while, then, 
if we tire, or everyday 
functions of running a house- 
hold interupt, we save and 
switch off. If you read a book 
and put it down, you don't 
start again at chapter one — 
you carry on where you left 
off. 

The second game, Escape 
from Solaris, is the first 
adventure that I have come 
across which can be played by 
two players, either on one 



September 1984 Micro Adventurer 37 



micro using the split screen 
facility, or by coupling two 
micros. The full instruction 
sheet gives all the necessary 
information, and once the 
game is loaded you will be 
asked to name your players. 

You are both trained Scouts 
of the Second Empire, and 
find yourselves in an alien 
labryinth from which you must 
escape by gathering items and 
carrying out certain tasks. You 
both start in little grey cells, 
one at the North and one at the 
South. The game is played in 
the conventional adventure 
style, and to this end the 
function keys have been 
programmed to respond to 
some of the most common 
words employed, (i.e. all the 
directions, GET, DROP, 
EXAMINE, etc.) This 
certainly saves much key 
punching time. 

When characters meet there 
is an immediate response on 
the screen. If A has moved 
North, the display may read 
"B is here," and at the same 
time on the other screen, "A 
has just entered." If B hits A, 
then A will be knocked down 
for two moves or so, and if this 
character was carrying any 
objects, these drop to the floor 
— which of course enables B to 
get them and make off. When 
at the same location, the 
characters can converse, but 
not when apart until one finds 
a certain object which then 
enables them to communicate 
where ever they are. 

So we now find that these 
two characters can interact, 
albeit only to hit each other or 
communicate. Sounds fun 
doesn't it? Not for long I am 
afraid. Aimless wandering 
around and talking to each 
other is not going to get you 
very far, and as you know that 
only one character is going to 
be able to escape (provided the 
right objects are held) there 
comes a point in this adventure 
when fighting starts. Should 
one player have the advantage 
of knowing the layout and 
location of the objects, it 
becomes a very one sided 
game. 

Conclusions — both players 
must be either completely new 
to the game, or must have 
intimate knowledge of the 
layout before commencing, 
which then defeats the whole 
object of an adventure. I 
believe that this is where this 
one falls flat on its face — nice 
idea, shame about the game. 
DS 



Rhine test 

Game Reichswald Micro 
Spectrum 48K Format Cassette 
Price £4.95 Supplier Merry & 
Wallace 12 Lawnswood 
Avenue, Chase town, Walsall, 
WS7 8 YD 

REICHSWALD is a simu- 
lation of the American attempt 
to secure a bridgehead over the 
Rhine in 1945. As the 
American commander, you 
must capture the city areas 
within a certain time to win the 
game. 

During loading you are pre- 
sented with the symbols for the 
various units and the terrain. 
When ready, you type in 'y' if 
you want a saved game or V if 
you want a new game. Then 
you sit back and wait. It takes 

Gerrard 
problem 

# 

Book The Adventurer 's 
Notebook Author Mike 
Gerrard Book The Advent- 
urer's Companion Author 
Mike and Peter Gerrard 
Publisher Duckworth Home 
Computing Price £3.95 each 
THE GERRARD Brothers 
make a formidable team — 
writing almost without stop in 
such disparate and august 
organs as Popular Computing 
Weekly, Honey, The Daily 
Mail and Micro Adventurer, 
they form an adventure Mafia. 
Peter has an admirable series 
of 4 'Exploring Adventures on 
the . . ." (fill in the dots with 
just about any micro that you 
can think of), although these 
two books are the first efforts 




a while for the cursor to 
appear, so don't unplug 
thinking you've got a dud 
cassette; just be patient. 

The game is fairly simple to 
play, though you need to read 
the documentation before- 
hand, so that you know what 
you are looking at, and how to 
input commands and move 
units. 

I found it difficult to 
become enthusiastic about this 
game, despite its interesting 
features, because of the slow 
responses. This is its one major 
drawback, and is likely to deter 
the novice wargamer. Once 
you have positioned the units 
On the map, there is nothing 
more you can do except grin 
and bear it. The computer 
moves the Germans about, and 
then goes into the combat 

Bros - 
solvers 

of brother Mike to appear in 
print, 

The more interesting of the 
two, for the general reader, is 
Mike's solo effort. The 
Notebook contains 5 pages of 
"What is an Adventure", 11 
pages of hints (such as type 
LOOK and EXAMINE at 
every available opportunity, 
map mazes and so on), and 1 1 
pages of historical back- 
ground. These sections are 
followed by a quick look at 
various machines and the 
range of adventures available 
for them, a short list of 
synonyms and a list of books 
and magazines catering for the 
growing number of ad- 
venturers. 

This is all pretty routine, but 
it is the second half of the book 
that will prove to be very 
useful — it takes the form of a 
series of "scratch-pads", on 
which the adventurer can keep 
track of the various games he 
may be in the process of 
solving. Thus, there is a 
column in which the 
description of each location is 
recorded, along with a column 
for objects found in that 
location, actions tried and the 
results of those actions. Then 
there are columns in which 
recognised verbs and nouns 
can be recorded, and finally a 
network of boxes which can be 
built into a map of the 
adventure. This format is 



phase. Eventually, you get a 
status report which indicates 
your strengths and weaknesses. 
Then the results of the combat 
appear. 

If it wasn't for the excruciat- 
ingly long delay in presenting 
these feedbacks, I think I could 
have found this game quite 
addictive. As it is I've not 
made more than a few moves 
in one session, and I'm not 
sure whether I have the 
inclination to see the battle 
through to the bitter end. 

Those who are chess 
fanatics, or enjoy similar 
games which require strategic 
planning rather than quick 
reactions, may well disagree. 
Personally, I'd rather play this 
sort of game with people, who 
don't always have the cold 
logic of a computer. JF 

repeated for up to 10 
adventures, and if you use a 
pencil, then the book can be 
used indefinitely. 

As the book is spiral-bound, 
it can lie flat beside the micro 
— and as a dedicated 
dedication-reader, I loved 
Mike's: "to my Nan". All 
together: Aaahh! 

The Adventurer's Com- 
panion is just as useful in 
helping the player keep track 
of his adventure, but it is 
concerned with just four 
games, and is nothing less than 
a crib sheet! No room, here, 
for the history of computer 
adventures, or overviews of 
available software. Instead, 
there is nothing but the 
complete solutions to The 
Hobbit, Scott Adams' Pirate 
A dventure and A dven ture- 
land, and as well as the grand- 
daddy of them all, Crowther 
and Woods' Colossal Cave 
Adventure, in the Level 9 
incarnation. 

Rather than working 
through the solution move-by- 
move, the Gerrards offer 
instead a list of all the 
problems, directing the player 
to a numbered paragraph in 
which that particular problem 
is fully explored. At the end of 
the book are maps pertaining 
to each adventure. 

For anyone stuck in The 
Goblin's Dungeon, or who is 
having trouble recovering his 
treasure from the Pirate's 
Chest, The Adventurer's 
Companion should prove to be 
just that — if you are weak- 
willed, however, and can't 
resist peeking, then beware! 



38 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



War gaming For The Commodore 64 





^ *£->*^ Available on Cassette £9 -95 
Sfcft^^Sl Disk Version £12-95 



B ATTLE FOR MIDWAY 

DATE: 4 th June 1942, 
PLACE: MIDWAY ISLAND 
THE SCENARIO 

'Battle For Midway' puts you in command of the US 
Pacific fleets six months after the attack by the 
Japanese on Pearl Harbour. 

The battle for Midway marked the turning point of 
the battle for the Pacific. If the Japanese are allowed 
to invade Midway Island, it would give them a 
stepping stone to attack firstly Hawaii and then 
mainland United States thus possibly changing the 
whole outcome of World War II. 

THE GAME 

'Battle For Midway' is not a simple game. It has been 
designed for the person who enjoys a stimulating 
intellectual game and incorporates every realism to 
ensure that whatever the outcome of the game - that 
is the way it could have happened. 

The game is played on three levels - firstly you are 
given a large scale map showing an overview of your 
own forces. Secondly you have constantly updated 
details of those forces down to the last fighter. 
Thirdly we give you a visual representation of the 
battle and your forces at every stage. 

3 LEVEL GAME 

Although complex it is easy enough for anyone to 
learn if he follows the fully detailed instructions, and 
we have incorporated a choice of three levels, 
depicting three different Japanese strategies, thus 
making it suitable for beginner or expert alike. 

THE AUTHOR 

Alan Steel is one of the original UK wargamers and 
has been playing and designing wargames for 
nearly twentyfive years. 



0310 5 June 
Hiryu scuttled 
■inks about 0900 



1700 

Hiryu hit by aircraft 
from EnUipnM 




IT 17 (rietcher) 
earner Yorbtown. 
2 cruisers. S destroyers 



0430. 4 June. 1942 
search and stnbe 
patrols launched 

< 



Aleutian Islands 



Hiryu launches ilrikes 
on US can i an 



1 12S 

Akagi slops. Nagumo 
transfers lo Nagara 



Stnke force 
launched 



1205-1215 and 1430 
Hiryu's planes score 
hits onYorktown 

1900 

Yor 
■ inks 



1025 1030 

Kaga. Akagi and Soryu hil by aircraft 
trom Yorktown and Entsrpnse 



0928. US earner borne aircraft attack 
(no damage) 



0916 

Nagumo turns north to 
intercept US task forces 



Midway 50 miles 




rblown abandoned ^ 

to7, " B \>| 

>5 ^ I 



Task Force 17 
etcher) 



IT 16 (Spruance) 
earners Enterprise. Hornel 
6 cruisers. 9 destroyers 



PEARL HARBOR ° °° 
HAWAII 



The U.S. Pacific Fleet's Victory 



0900. 3 June 
Sighted 



JAPANESE FORCES SAIL BETWEEN 23-28 MAY (DATES ARE THOSE AT MIDWAY) 



Admiral Yamamoto's Operational Plan 



P.S.S.452 STONEY STANTON RD. COVENTRY CV6 5DG. TEL: COVENTRY (0203) 667556 




THE RING 
OF 

DARKNESS 
PART II 



At last the saga 
continues ... 

The Guardian of Shedir 
is defeated, the Hell 
spawned hordes of the Evil 
Sage lie at bay. Now 
Ringbearer, wielder of the 
Four Bright Rings, must 
face the greatest 
challenge: to return the 

Ring Of Darkness to its 
creators on the hidden 
planet Ringworld . . . 
And somewhere at the 
ends of time the forces of 
evil are preparing their 
revenge. 

After one year of 
development, Wintersoft 

are proud to present the 
most sophisticated game 
ever created for the 
Dragon 32. Written 100% in 
machine code, RETURN OF 
THE RING is an astounding 
multi program blend of 
superb high resolution 
colour graphics and 
advanced routines that 
allow you to communicate 
with your computer in 
complete sentences. You 
will face challenge and 
excitement as you and 
your Ringworld 
companions travel a 
mysterious planet and 
brave the dangers of an 
amazing three- 
dimensional forest moon. 

An epic adventure 
unrivalled for its wealth of 
detail and diversity. 

May luck travel your 
path. 

Please note: RETURN OF 
THE RING is a complete 
adventure. You need not 
buy THE RING OF 
DARKNESS to play it. 



DEALERS PHONE 
01-3675720 




30 UPLANDS PARK ROAD, 
ENFIELD, MIDDLESEX, 
EN27PT 




ALSO AVAILABLE: - 
DRAGON 32 

Return of the Ring 

The Ring of Darkness 

Dragon Trek 

SPECTRUM 48K 

The Ring of Darkness 

ORIC-1 48K 

The Ring of Darkness 

Operation Gremlin 

PRICES INCLUDE P&P, VAT, AND OUR LIFETIME 
GUARANTEE. 

SELECTED TITLES AVAILABLE FROM 
LARGER BRANCHES OF/ 




£9.95 

. . . £9.95 
£6.95 




i 



VENTURE 



SCOTT ADAMS 

MARK GRU6NWALD 
JOHNROMfTA 




dventut€ 




INTERNATIONAL™ 

EXCLUSIVE UK. DISTRIBUTORS OF SCOTT ADAMS PRODUCTS 

119, JOHN BRIGHT STREET, BIRMINGHAM Bl 1BE. Telephone: 021-643 5102 



*'Marvel Comics Group 1984. 
A Division of Cadence 
Industries Corporation. 
All Rights Reserved. 



martech® 




« o o ipcdokcvtef game* 




IP 



JH< 0»Y#<Y 
OF HOK 




A Classical 
Graphic Adventure 




Panaora by Harry Bates Reproouceo Dy Kind permission of The Tate Gallery. London 



SPECTRUM 48K £5.95 

Once upon a time, Zeus had one of his master craftsmen 
fashion a mortal of perfect beauty — the first woman — he 
called her Pandora — meaning "all gifts". Zeus presented 
her with a golden casket, but bade her promise never to 
open it, but Pandora grew curious and one day she lifted 
the lid. With a rush and a cry, out came all the ills that now 
beset man; disease and sorrow, hate, jealousy, theft, lies 
and many more. Pandora rushed to close the lid, but all of 
its contents had escaped, save one, "Hope". Since that 
ill-fated day when Pandora infested the world with terrible 
woes and suffering, Hope has always remained a comfort 
to this troubled world — until now! Someone has stolen 
Hope, and famine, disease and violence have taken over 
the world. 

Enter the magnificent and dangerous world of Ancient 
Greek Legend in this amazing hi-res graphic adventure. 
One-eyed giant Cyclops and the many headed Hydra are 
but a few of the incredible creatures you will meet as you 
sail treacherous seas and cross dangerous landscapes in 
your struggle to return Hope to its guardians on Mount 
Olympus, the home of the Gods. 



BBC B or ACORN ELECTRON £7.95 

Guy of Gisburne, treacherous henchman of the Sheriff of 
Nottingham, has captured the lovely Maid Marion. In his 
heavily defended castle — he holds her as bait! 

Become Robin of Loxley, the hooded man, on a mission of 
rescue and vengeance. 

Written in 100% machine code and making full use of the 
sound, colour and hi-res capabilities of each computer, 
Gisburne's Castle blends the action of the arcade with the 
challenge of an adventure, into one outstanding game. 

Features: 

* Hundreds of different graphic locations 

ic 20 different animated and intelligent characters 

* 1 5 different objects to be found and used 
sfc Joystick option and user definable keys 




from most leading retailers or directly by mail order 

Martech is the registered trade mark of 

Software Communications Ltd. 

Martech House, Bay Terrace, Pevensey Bay, East Sussex BN24 6EE 

Dealer enquiries welcome, Tel: (0323) 768456 Telex: 87465 EXIM Brighton 





Name ... 
Address 



MAIL ORDER Tick 

THE ODYSSEY OF HOPE — SPECTRUM 48K □ 

GISBURNE'S CASTLE — BBC B' □ 

ELECTRON □ 

Postal Orders or cheques payable to SOFTWARE COMMUNICATIONS LTD. 
Prices include VAT, post and packing. Add £1 extra for overseas orders. 



ROM ARKNESS AVE ETURNED OR HEE 




TO: MASTERVISION, Park Lome, 
111 Park Road, London NW8 7JL. 
Tel: (01)402 3316 

spec 48K The Wrath of Magra 

spec 48K Volcanic Dungeon 

(Now with High res Graphics and currah 
microspeech) £5. 95 

spec 48K Black Crystal £7.50 

zx 8i Black Crystal 



£7.50 



cbm 64K Black Crystal (available soon for £7.50) 

Please allow 28 days for delivery. 
All prices include p&p and VAT. 



Mastervision Limited. Park Lome, 1 1 1 Pork Road. London NW8 7JL Telephone: (01) 402-3316 (I 7 lines). 



Classified 



MICRO COMPUTER 
AUCTIONS 

Regular monthly auctions for all micro hardware and 
software. 

Send now for entry form or next catalogue, to: 

MICRO COMPUTER AUCTIONS (MA) 

Northington House 
59 Grays Inn Road 
London WC1X8TL 
Tel: 01-242 0012 (24 hours) 




THE LAIR 




A new concept in Adventuring for BBC Micro 32K. 

Features include: 

• 200 locations 

• Character Classes: Apprentice, 
Warrior, Priest or Elf 

• Foes shown in gory detail 

• Save Game facility 

Tape £6.50 - Send Cheques/P.O.s to 

UTOPIA SOFTWARE 

42 Sutton Park Road, Seaford, 
E. Sussex BN25 1RP 



i 
i 




48K SPECTRUM Adventure. The Missing Princess. Almost 
100 locations. Lots of problems to solve. Cheque/P.O. for 
£3.50 to M. Page, 159 Northumberland Avenue, Hornchurch, 
Essex, RM11 2HW. 

HOUSE OF ORION (see Micro Adventurer May issue) was 
widely acclaimed by you the hero. Now also available is Raid 
on Lethos. Another text only Journey of Myth and Magic for 
Spectrum 48K at £3.50 each + 50p p&p from D. Newton, 4 
Pewfist Green, Westhoughton, Bolton, Lanes. 

SOLVE ATIC AT AC. For map on how to find handle send £1 .30 
to Brian Graham, 'Sirius', Mill Loch, Lochmaben, Dumfrieshire. 

NEW 48K SPECTRUM M/C Adventures - Craze, 
Crazier, Stronghold and Safari. Hours of entertainment 
£3 each, all four £9. SAE list. Odyssey Computing, 28 
Bingham Road, Sherwood, Nottingham. 



DISPLAY AD INDEX 



Addictive Games 27 

Adventure International 40 

Amplicon Micro Services 48 

B 

Beyond Software 5 

C 

CCS 30 

D 

Duckworth 27 

F 

Flagship 31 

G 

Gilsoft 12 

1 

Imagine 25 

Incentive Software 33 

K 

K.J.C Games 24 



Level 9 2 

M 

Martech Games 42 

Mastervision 43 

Melbourne House 10 

Micro Computer Auctions 44 

Mitre Games 20 

N 

Newton 44 

O 

Odyssey Computing 44 

P 

P.S.S 39 

Page 44 

S 

Salamander 47 

Scorpio Gamesworld 24 

Sirius 44 

U 

Utopia Software 



44 



r 



Here's my classified ad. 




(Please write your copy in capital letters on the 



below.) 



£0.20 


£0.40 


£060 


£0.80 


El .00 


£1.20 


£1.40 


£1.60 


El .80 


£2.00 


£2.20 


£2 40 


£2.60 


£2.80 


£3 00 


£320 


£3.40 


£3.60 


£3.80 


£4 00 


£4.20 


£4.40 


Please continue on a separate sheet of oaoer 


1 make this 


words, at 20p per word so I enclose £ 



Name 



Address 



Telephone 



Please cut out and send this form to: Classified Department, Micro Adventurer, 12-13 Little Newport Street, 

London WC2R 3LD 



44 Micro Adventurer September 1984 



a. 




i 



V r 




WSOFTUfflRE 





You awake with a start, you are alone in 
the leisure lounge of a deserted waxworks, 
As events around you take on ominous 
overtones you begin to wonder if you 
are dreaming. Beware though because 
in such macabre surroundings dreams 
end and nightmares begin 



CAN YOU STAND A 
NIGHT ALONE IN THE 



For Commodore 64, Atari, 
and any Dragon computer. 

Price £9.95 inc. VAT. 




OTHER 
CHANNEL 8 
SOFTWARE 

TITLES 

SHEAR PANIC 
THE BLACK SQUIO 
THE CONSTRUCTOR 
I SPY FOR KIDS LANDER 
PRIMARY MATHS 
MATHS TUTOR TODDLER TUTOR 
GOTCHA' MATHS 
ASTRAL ZONE 



FEASIBILITY EXPERI 
TEN LITTLE INDIANS 
THE WIZARD AKYRZ 
ARROW OF DEATH PT. 1 

ESCAPE FROM PULSAR 7 



CHflnnEL 



51 Fishergate, Preston, 
Lanes PR1 8BH. 
Tel: (0772) 53057 




THE GOLDEN BATON 
ARROW OF DEATH PT. 2 
PERSEUS & ANDROMEDA 

THE TIME MACHINE 
WAXWORKS CIRCUS 




wSOFTUJflRE 




Selected titles available from larger branches of \ ^S^ J . Greens at Debenhams, Lewis's, Spectrum dealers 
and good computer shops everywhere, (in case of difficulty send P.O. or Cheque direct). 



VfSA 




©®lPi¥fl¥0®M 




D 



Tony Roberts tests 
your skill — send 
your answers to 
Competition Corner, 
Micro Adventurer, 
12-13 Little Newport 
St, London WC2R 
3LD 




Wise up, adventure lovers! Ignore old green and ugly — 25 
puny mortals can win Adventure International's 
Questprobe — The Hulk, just by showing a little more 

intelligence than Bruce Banner. 



Dicing with 




TISCH HAS NOW got the 
first seven of the ancient runic 
rings — thanks to you — but 
she isn't likely to let you rest 
until she has the full set. 
This month, the task she has 



set you is to find the H ring, 
which is secured in a booby 
trapped chamber. On the door 
is this control panel, about 
which Tisch, as usual, knows 
little. She has discovered, 



however, that you must press 
an H shaped array of buttons 
on the panel. Of all the ways 
you could do this, the one safe 
solution is that which involves 
the lowest number of spots 



o o 
o 

[O q 



o . o 



o 


0 


o 


0 


o 


0 



o 



o 



o 




o 


o 


0 


0 



o 



o 



o 



o 



5 



o 



o o 
o 

o o 



(add up the spots on all the 
buttons pressed). 

You have, of course, no 
trouble at all in opening the 
door. What is the number of 
spots on all the buttons 
touched? 

To enter the competition, 
mark on the diagram of the 
panel the buttons that have to 
be touched, and also tell us the 
total number of spots on those 
buttons. 

The July competition 
attracted a bumper collection 
of entries. Obviously a lot of 
people were given an Incentive 
to win. The tie breaker justified 
its existence this time! The 
answer is D6, and the decoded 
message reads "go east from 
Vran's door one mile and dig" . 

We don't have space to list 
all the winners, so here are the 
names of the top five, based on 
their tie breakers: Valerie 
Snelling of East Grinstead, 
Terry Freshwater of Cannock, 
M. Griffiths of Poole, 
Malcolm Dixon of Cheshunt, 
and Neil Talbot. 

The solution to this month's 
problem will be published in 
November. The 25 winners will 
get Questprobe — The Hulk 
from Adventure International. 
The tie breaker is in two parts; 
first, who is the chief examiner 
based on, and second, how 
many words of four or more 
letters can you make from the 
word Adventure? 

No rude words allowed! All 
entries must be received by the 
last working day in September. 

The Hulk is available on the 
CBM 64, Spectrum 48k, BBC 
B, Electron, Dragon 32 and 
Atari — don't forget to say 
which you have. 



46 Micro Adventurer September 1984 










and 




I 



flDfog* of fltot 

fW «cw different adventures from Salamander Software. 

In WWQS 01 W% you play £t. Roger fOilcoe, reluctant 
hero. The time is tlovember 1912 - you must parachute into ^ 
occupied Irance, disguised as a German Officer, infiltrate a j| 
k secret arms laboratory hidden in a chateau, steal the plans ™ 

0k and the prototype of a new bomb, and make good your J 

M eicape iack " 8 "' % mqiR weeoi | 

IjQ Star of rVings of rVar 

Vll^jl Jn 7Hi aiCmWOOD mCmm, uou, Arnold Q. 
J/ '%llr fcfefcMft* the 11th heir to the Volestrangler fortune, find 
* ' yourself bored out of your mind and looking for something to 



is. 



>i 



WE 





glHIII IIIIl"" 




do until the laundrette opens. There's nothing for it but to 
leave your padded cell and search the wilds of London, 
Moscow, Hanoi and rVigan for the elusive Holy Qrail. 
^^fc^tfOT for sheep of a sensitive disposition. 

'^^Bfeu 7°P C duplication 

tlot the star of the Cricklcwood Incident. 



wii> 



Stimulate yourself for only £f.95 each. 

Please add 50p p&p to alt orders. Send M SfK for full catalogue. 



Cheques or postal orders payable to. 




5 □ FTUU R R E 



1? tlorfotk Road, Brighton, Btll 3ffl letephone. Brighton I02T3) ??19*2 

*k for these other new releases from Salamander Software 

MOn -V2S (sophisticated database) £11.95 IS/3C - BfV}££ (original arcade action) £? 95 

nmU GjtfVWCS (Educational & fun) £9.95 M3Cll£lCVl0n - 1UM0 COmVKtR (BflSK compiler) £9.95 



of our best selling 1S1 Jlight Simulator for fifiC disk and fiCOXtt Electron 




The tough nuts 

crack! 



W Braingames bring 
' you the most 
entertaining and 
fulfilling adventure 
and strategy games. 

Our adventures combine strong story lines, high quality 
graphics and sound to produce games you will want to 
play time after time. 

Strategy games ranging from the White House to 
King Arthur's Court, from the oil business to a used 
car lot, will test your skills and imagination. 

FAME QUEST 

A friendly joust or duel to the death? Kill the 
dragon, run away or even try to talk to it? 

These are some of the questions you will have to answer 
on your Fame Quest. You enter this world as a lowly knight 
without sword or armour. By means of your skill and judgement 
you will accumulate fame (and money!). Given time you may aspire 
to be the mightiest warrior in the land, but beware - many encounters 
await you on your Quest. 

game of 
strategy for one 
player, with 

For the f u \\ graphics 

Commodore 64 /A^JB*J^ \ and sound 
Cassette £7.95 
Disk £9.95 



For the 
Commodore 64 

Cassette £7.95 

Disk £9.95 





FAME QUEST 




v 





ELECTION TRAIL 



V 



r 



ELECTION TRAIL 

Run a media campaign in the Western States? 
Try to raise funds in Texas? Hold a rally in New York? 

You are organising the presidential campaign for 
your candidate and decisions must be made which will 
make or break his bid for the White House. With everything 
at stake, you may find it hard to choose between a rally and 
a campaign tour,- a press conference and a public debate. 

An exciting and original strategy game for one or two players. 
Full colour graphics, maps and music make this a must for any 
aspiring politicians. 

For more information on the tough nuts 
Phone us on Brighton (0273) 608331 NOW 

Postal enquiries to :— 

BRAINGAMES Amplicon Group 

Richmond Road, Brighton East Sussex BN2 3RL 

Tel: Brighton (0273) 608331 Telex: 877470 AMPCON G 
Braingames is a division of Amplicon Micro Systems Limited